Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Not-Elephant's Trunk

My dad kept his foot locker from the Marines and used it as a coffee table through much of my youth. So, I grew up with a fondness for the truly utilitarian yet beautiful, beat-up piece of storage. These days when I'm thrifting, I keep watch for something like my dad's trunk. Though I've not been so lucky as to find a piece like the one shown above, I thought it was worth sharing. The patina of the brass and leather, the rich green and orange woods are awe-inspiring, somehow reminiscent of a well-loved Wagoneer.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Finally Fall

Thank you, Mother Nature! It's time for layering, time for quilted jackets over cashmere cable knits over plaid flannels. Well, okay. Maybe it's not that cold yet, but holy ****, how I love this autumn weather. If anything's going to get me back into a steady stream of blogging, it's sharing with you all the goods being churned out this season by Polo and other faves. But before I proceed with what I like, I have to share this... thing.

Come on, Polo! This desolate photo of grey on grey is the header to your Style Guide? And what style is present here? A double-breasted-camel-coat-and-sockless-tennis-shoe-wearing-Jeff-Spicoli-wannabe-skateboarder? Whew...

Oh! And that style of skateboard has gotta be older than the model! Is that Polo's trademark aspirational and vintage aesthetic at work? No. Oh, no.

In conclusion... yay! Fall!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Crazy For This Psycho Bunny

A few weeks back, I was contacted by Psycho Bunny about reviewing one of their ties. Never heard of Psycho Bunny? I've been a fan for quite some time. For several years, I've seen athletes and celebs on TV repping the unique bunny and crossbones logo. Mostly known for their classic but fun ties, Psycho Bunny offers a full array of quality menswear and accessories. 

When offered this awesome opportunity, I was immediately drawn to this bright. pink. paisley.

Do I love pink? Yep.
Paisley? Always.

Easy choice, though the Hibiscus Tie was oh so tempting.

So, my tie came in the mail a few days ago. Along with a kind note and logo decals, the tie itself was well packaged in not only a plastic sleeve but a reusable tie travel bag. I quickly put on my pleasant piece of pink and paisley perfection (please pardon the alliteration) and headed out for the day.

To knot or not to knot... or unknot... or... whatever.

That night, I carefully unknotted the tie to see how it held up. Quality fabric and construction are evident in a tie when it easily returns to form at the end of the day. And? No creases or loose threads here. The silk is quite sumptuous and the colors are just as vibrant as they appear. Another positive about this tie's construction - it was hand made here in this good ol' country between Canadia and Meh-he-co.

The price? Ah, the price. You, my dearestest readers know 99% of my tie collection comes from the thrift shops 'o the world. However, you also know that I'm prone to splurging a few times a year on ties that I simply must own. Even without the offer from Psycho Bunny, I think this $100 tie would have found its way home to me. So, hop on over (hop... like a rabbit... I know) to Psycho Bunny and enjoy the goods.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

From the Greenbrier Bathroom Collection

A few months back I visited the Greenbrier Resort, here in West Virginia. Even the bathrooms impressed me. Antique menswear ads and Vanity Fair prints were to be found across the premises. Over a series of posts, I'll be sharing a number of my snapshots.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fashion Stork Review

I was recently granted the opportunity to share a product review from Fashion Stork, a subscription-based menswear dealer. I'll be honest. As a very particular and especially thrifty shopper, I've been hesitant to try one of these subscription services. However, when the offer came along, I thought I'd give it a shot to, if nothing else, provide readers and fellow bloggers with info on this sort of thing.

The setup was surprisingly quick and simple. I visited and created a profile via a survey on my personal style. First, you provide your age, height, weight, body type, and skin tone.  Next, you provide your sizes and fits you prefer regarding shirts, pants, shoes, and jackets. I was pleased to see exact sizes available for selection - i.e. 40 Short or Tall rather than just 40, 16 32/33 to 36/37 rather than just 16.

After all your sizes are worked out, you see this...

My one concern here is lack of clarity - perhaps a description of each category and/or brands offered within a category should be noted. How am I to know the difference between Business and Dressy, Casual and Relaxed?

In the final few questions, you get to pick your favorite brands amongst a page of logos to further hone in on your tastes. You also pick types of items you'd like to receive often or perhaps not at all (hats, ties, sandals, graphic tees, etc.) Finally, you can write in things you want and things you never want in a package.

On to my package.

The current, monthly rate at Fashion Stork is $65. So, did I get $65 worth of stuff? Yep. In fact, I received closer to $165 of merchandise. The Buffalo sport shirt is priced $74, and the Bass oxfords are priced around $80. Now, did the items go with my survey answers?

Absolutely! I've never worn Buffalo David Bitton, but the shirt certainly fits my style. And the shoes? Well, they couldn't be more me. Though it's hard to tell from only two items, I really think the survey questions work.

And if things don't quite work out, you can always make an exchange or cancel your membership entirely. Fashion Stork doesn't hold you to a contract, yet it seems they'll do their best to keep you satisfied with each month's merchandise. I received a kind note in my package regarding a specific request. I'm allergic to most synthetic fabrics, an issue to which they were quite attentive.

Overall, I'd say Fashion Stork is certainly a service worth trying. You're assured quality goods (just browse the Examples page) and you'll always receive a greater value than what you pay for each month. So, check it out here!

PS: One dollar of each order goes to help the adoption of children in need.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

CKC Shoppe on eBay

As I'm in the process of moving, I'm being forced to clear out much of my CKC Shoppe inventory, quickly. Rather than listing merchandise in my store, I'm going the eBay route. For your shopping pleasure, here are some of the pieces I've just listed. If you make a purchase, mention that you're a reader and shipping is free!

 Burberry Glen Plaid Sport Coat - 44
 Hickey Freeman Glen Plaid Sport Coat - 46
 100% Cashmere Sport Coat - 52
 Gant Vintage Sport Coat - 42
 Hart Schaffner Marx Vintage Sport Coat - 42
 Hamilton House Norfolk-like Sport Coat - 44
 Custom Tartan Sport Coat - 48
Polo Windbreaker - Large

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Almost Doesn't Count

I may have been away from blogging, but nothing can keep me away from thrifting. Between a day at the spa and a day at the thrifts, I'll always take that sweet, second-hand gold. However, few things are as frustrating as those almost moments. You know, you come across the item of your dreams... then you see a giant rip, or stain, or discoloration, or tear, or whatever. 

Example: a vintage Baracuta G9 with tartan lining. Perfect size, perfect fit, perfectly misplaced motor oil stain all over the back. Bye bye, Baracuta.

Example 2:  A true guernsey sweater by L.L. Bean, and all-around one of the most beautifully crafted sweaters ever. Horribly and horridly shrunken, to be worn only by a four-year-old or my neighbor's prissy poodle.

I'm Back... No, Seriously

Not a day goes by where the sudden loss of my mother gets easier. Since January, I can't say I've had a single bad day, but many moments come and go where I struggle to find the passion and happiness I once had. I've been working on making these bad moments occur less frequently, and as such, I'm back to blogging. Before this year, I went two years blogging basically every single day. I'm now fully committed to get back to this crazy blogosphere and the loyal readers I've not yet lost, with hope to gain many, many new readers. I so greatly appreciate all the personal messages to have come along in recent months. You guys have brought me back, and so... let the blogging begin... again.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Smart Turnout Town Watch

Since being turned on to Smart Turnout watches and straps, I've kept an eye on the brand's latest offerings. I'm rather traditional when it comes to my watches, but there's something refreshingly modern and sleek about this piece, which can be found here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I'm Back... with a Smart Turnout Review

Greetings, everyone! The past two months have been indescribably crazy, but I'm back and excited to share with you a review of these Smart Turnout watch straps.

Two years ago, I was blessed with the chance to review Smart Turnout socks. Conclusion? The best. These watch straps? Also the best. I'm not a watch connoisseur and certainly not one of those bloggers who has every single color and pattern of strap imaginable. (I cannot say the same about not having every color and pattern of tie.) However, I've been rocking grosgrain watch straps since childhood. For years, I wore a Mickey Mouse watch that came with a bunch o' bands. I was so cool. Anyway, these Smart Turnout straps have the extra heft and thickness that my other pieces lack. In recent years, I've purchased from a number of brands, all lacking the overall quality of Smart Turnout. These straps keep my watches perfectly in place, so I'm not always shifting them across my wrist. Also, when I fold over the end of a strap, it stays folded. This has never been the case with thinner, cheaper straps. At $29 a piece (for 18mm, $32 for 20mm), Smart Turnout straps aren't cheap, but they are an excellent value and a worthwhile investment.

By the way, I received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and Argyll and Sutherland straps.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Taking a Break

Last week I started writing a post about my five year "blogiversary." I had decided to really recommit myself to writing and running the CKC Shoppe. However, Tuesday night, my mom passed away. I don't know when I'll be back to blogging, but I'd like to thank all who have supported me these past five years. I've had a fantastic time sharing all this silly sartorial stuff with you, and I hope to continue one of these days.