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UniqloCardigan

I am pleased to say that after roughly 6 years of searching, finding a grey marled knit lambswool cardigan sweater has finally come to an end thanks to UNIQLO. Finding the perfect combination of color, contrasting buttons, fit and of course cost always proved a difficult task and every season I found myself looking at cardigans with the hope of finding my holy grail.

I have had said perfect cardigan in my possession these last 6 years which I acquired from Ruehl back in the day for an incredible %75 off. It has always been one of my favorite wardrobe pieces and I’ve been amazed that it has lasted as long as it has. When I purchased it, however, it was about a size too small and always fit a little snug. It’s thankfully stretched out over the years and even survived a couple baby accidents. However, the elbows have stared to wear out (which thankfully meant I got to add suede patches to it) but it only served as a haunting reminder that my old friend would not be around forever and thus my hunt began to intensify. It was only after randomly going on UNIQLO’s site that I happened to find it. Even better was the fact it was available for an incredible $40.

I eagerly awaited for my package to arrive and was thrilled to find out that it fit perfectly right out the box! I was also pleasantly surprised that the button holes were reinforced with a grosgrain backing to ensure the holes holds up. The fabric is a bit more scratchy than my other cardigan, but still soft to the touch. Lastly, not only is the price perfect, the cardigan also comes in over a dozen color ways so you don’t have to feel guilty about getting one in every color like some people.  It also appears that I was not alone in this hunt because this style of cardigan seems to be popping up in a couple of stores this season. So if you’re looking for a different material or fit, you’ll have a few of options if you’re looking for something similar.

UNIQLO Lambswool V-Neck Cardigan $40
J.Crew Rustic Merino Cardigan $108
GANT Rugger Cardigan $116
Comme Des Garsons Play Cardigan $345

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Dollar Shave Club

DollarShaveClub

You’ve no doubt seen the now famous video for DollarShaveClub.com advertising high quality blades delivered to your door which only cost $1. After finally getting into a steady shaving routine thanks to The Art of Shaving and instantly getting tired of spending $25 on a new set of razor blades, I signed up for Dollar Shave Club to see how they faired against the competition.

One of my immediate concerns was that fact that I only shave once a week and could usually make a 4 pack of razors last a 2-3 months. Not wanting to end up with a stock pile of razors that weren’t getting used, Dollar Shave Club thankfully has an option to get blades delivered once every two months instead of monthly. So I updated my account settings and waited for my package to arrive.

After a couple of days my first box arrived at the door. One of the things I’ve always liked about DollarShaveClub.com is their package design. Simple, no frills, but very masculine and with the same tongue and cheek attitude which made their Youtube commercial so successful. I had been using a Gillette Mac3 blade for quite a while now, so I opted for The 4x blade. The handle of the razor had a nice weight to it which rivaled my Gillette and was a pleasant surprise. I lathered up my face got to work.

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I definitely noticed a difference between the blades. The DSC blade had a nice feel to it, but I noticed the Gillete blades definitely had a smoother pull when using it. Both blades offered a nice close shave, but the Gillette blades just seemed to be a bit sharper by comparison. Wether this was because they were made to last longer or are made from better materials, I’m not sure. But since the DSC blades are meant to be discarded after 1 week of use (figure 3-4 shaves a week) I got the feeling these blades were not meant to last and wore out more quickly. And this is where the debate comes into play. Is it better to pay more for blades which last longer or for blades which don’t make you feel as bad for throwing out because it only cost $1 (or in this case $6)? If you have to constantly replace the blades more often, are you really saving that much money?

The other thing I noticed about The 4x is I had a difficult time reaching some hard to reach places like under my nose. The additional trimmer (which is included on the Gillette Mac3 and DSC The Executive) really becomes essential for these types of areas, but you have to now move up from a $6 razor to a $9 one. Still cheaper than a $25 four pack, but kind of a bummer that you need to get the most high-end razor in order to get a feature which is standard on most razors these days.

My final thoughts on Dollar Shave Club, honestly, are a bit mixed. The service, design and ease of having razors delivered to you door is awesome. The quality of the blades are good but I wouldn’t call them “F*cking Great” as the commercial claims, but as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. For those tired of spending a fortune on razor blades and don’t need anything too fancy, I would definitely recommend Dollar Shave Club. For those looking for a higher-end razor, there are plenty of options to choose from and if you are spending the money on expensive shaving products, you may as well spend the money on a quality razor as well.

CustomHatter18
[photo via buffalostoryproject.com]

After our previous post about hat maker Nick Fouquet, we received numerous requests to feature Buffalo’s own Gary White from The Custom Hatter. We actually featured this Buffalo-based business way back in 2011 not soon after the blog began, and we had always wanted to stop into the store to check out the space for ourselves. Thankfully these recent requests were just the incentive we needed to stop by Gary’s shop to chat with the man himself to learn more about this small shop which has provided some of the most iconic hats of film and stage.

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Gary has been in the hat making business for 45 years now and has owned his own shop for over 30. He began his career at the famous Buffalo menswear store Peller & Mure in the hat department. Moving up from a salesman to eventually a buyer for the store, after a chance meeting with the VP of Dobbs and Stetson, Gary decided he wanted to open his own hat shop. He then began a 10 year apprenticeship to learn the art of hat making by commuting from Buffalo to Lynn, Massachusetts on the weekends. During this time he began amassing his own collection of old-world hat making tools, most of which he still uses to this day including a 100 year old wooden shaping tool. Gary also boasts one of the largest collection of vintage silk ribbons used on his fedora’s which are the envy of every costume department in Hollywood.

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With the various connections Gary’s made over the years (which he largely attributes to shaking everyone’s hand he has ever met) Mr. White has gone on to make hats for such famous films as Dick Tracy, Batman, Indiana Jones, Tombstone, Untouchables, Quick and the Dead, Blues Brothers, Boardwalk Empire and more. While Gary is extremely grateful and humbled by getting to work on such famous films, his true love is working with the theater. A winner of multiple Tony and Academy Awards, the theater allows Gary to truly showcase his creativity and passion for hat making. His website, www.custom-hatter.com was actually the first website for custom hats on the web. He has spoken at various seminars and lecures at Buff State, UB, Alfred University and has even given several workshops on old world craftsmanship to introduce a new generation to wold of hat making.

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When Gary first started his company his was making over 2000 hats a year. While the business may have slowed over the years as styles and tastes change, Gary still creates some stunning custom pieces for his clients. He begins with a consultation in which he measures the size and shape of your head. Do you have a round, long or wide oval shaped head? As we talk he looks at me and notices I have a long oval shape and exactly guesses my hat size (7 3/8). He then inquires on what type of clothes you will be wearing with the hat, as this will dictate the overall look and style of the hat. For me, with a mixture of dress and casual, he suggest a homburg style, possibly in a dark grey or navy color to try something a little different. The height of the ribbon determines the formality of the hat, meaning the higher the ribbon sits on the hat, the more formal it is. Also, while the color of that hat is important, Gary stresses that choosing the correct color of the ribbon is essential and he even has his own signature bow he uses on many of his hats. Using some of the finest vintage materials in the world, many of which are no longer available, Gary’s true passion and love for his craft is why he has continued to make hats all these years. “If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right” he says. To meet a man this passionate about what he does after all this time is awe inspiring.

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Many thanks to Gary for showing me around his shop and taking the time to speak with me. Fall is usually Gary’s busy time of year, so I highly recommend stopping into his shop, chatting with Gary about some of his amazing stories and checking out some of his historic hats for yourself. If you’re interesting in getting a custom hat made, prices usually start at $525. While this may seem expensive to some, what you are getting is a truly one of a kind piece made by a master craftsman which is sure to last you a lifetime. Check out more photos of The Custom Hatter shop below.

The Custom Hatter
1318 Broadway Street
Buffalo, NY 14212

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After attending a wedding this past weekend, I feel something needs to be addressed. Gentlemen, please stop wearing your “sport shades” with a suit. Few things completely ruin a look faster than seeing a nice suit accompanied by a pair of Oakley’s or whatever athletic-inspired shades people buy these days.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for sport glasses. If you’re out for a run or some kind of “extreme” sport in which you need your glasses to say on your face, naturally these are the perfect choice. However, much like most of us wouldn’t dream of wearing flip flops with a suit (unless you’re at a beach wedding) wearing the right sunglasses for the occasion should be just as important as making sure your belt and shoes are the same color. You’ve invested the time and money into buying a suit and a nice pair of sunglasses are an equal investment. I know many that would argue “I’m just going to loose them, break them or hardly wear them, so why should I invest the money in a nice pair sunglasses?” and the answer is simple. You don’t have to. Once can easily find a pair of Wayfarer knock offs or aviator sunglasses for $10 and they will still look better than your $150 Dog the Bounty Hunter Sunglasses. Its also worth mentioning how important it is that you buy the correct pair of glasses to compliment the shape of your face. More on that topic can be found here.

As I said, a pair of Wayfarer-style or Aviators are always a smart choice when wearing a suit, but there are plenty of other “less sporty” options to choose from. Below are some classic shades to help you in your journey should you be guilty of this offense and wish to avoid the following look from someone:

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Sunglasses

Alexander McQueen $425 | Ray-Ban Original Aviators $200 | Ray-Ban Clubmasters $150 | Ray-Ban Wayfarers $150Target Metal Aviators $17| Target Square Surf $16

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I was sad to learn about the departure of Glen O’Brien from GQ Magazine as their resident “Style Guy”. His years of knowledge and experience in not only the fashion industry but also in the art of being a gentleman was always one of my favorite sections to read in GQ. No one seems to know why he left, but based off of his cryptic tweets a while back it appears there were some ill feelings and departure was less than amicable. But much like the passing of the torch with Jon Stewart from the Daily Show to his predecessor Trevor Noah, all things must change. Today GQ introduced their new Style Guy: Mark Anthony Green (or MAG as he’s known by the industry).

Spending the last few years under the tutelage of Sid Mashburn and absorbing all the style knowledge he could from Jim Moore and the GQ fashion team, Mark’s take on the Style Guide column is a much younger approach to sartorial conundrums. For those who saw Glen O’Briens views as too old school or catering to a different generation this could be a welcome change of pace. Personally, I will miss Glen’s articles but foresee a bright future for Mark as he tackles much more street-relevant trends while staying true to classic #menswear themes like finding the right glasses for your head shape, whether it’s right to button the bottom button of your suit and getting rid of unneccesary clothes in your closet. While his first post seems a bit elementary as far as style-advise goes, for an inaugural post like this perhaps its best to play it safe. What I do like, and I think a lot of other readers will identify with, is that Mark admits that he himself have gone through several style phases and “isn’t here to enforce the style rules of our grandfathers, nor to hype every fad. Like you, I’m just here to figure out how a man can look good now.” 

Check out the new GQ Style Guy article here.

UPDATE: Check out Fourpins.com exclusive interview with Glen O’Brian for more insight into his departure.

Vinylify

Vinylify

It’s a well documented fact on Buffalo Dandy’s Instagram account that we are big fans of vinyl. And one of the biggest nostalgic complaints about today’s digital age is the art of the “mixtape” is all but disappearing from the analog world. I myself take pride in crafting the perfect mix tape for the wife whether it be for birthday, holidays or anniversaries. Lately, however, it’s become easier to create/listen to these mixes on Spotify. I know what you’re thinking… society is crumbling.

Thankfully, the good folks over at Vinylify have come up with an incredible solution for those, like myself, who miss the subtle art of creating the perfect mixtape but also love vinyl. Cut by hand in their Amsterdam store, Vinylify converts your uploaded files or songs from their growing database into an playable, fully analog vinyl record! Using a combination of a technics 1210 MK2 turntable, and an audio rack that converts the digital sound into analog, the output is guaranteed to sound great on your turntable. Once the songs are uploaded, you then get to create your own personalized album artwork which is yet another one of the great aspects about vinyl and one of my favorite parts of creating a mix tape. Finally, your custom vinyl record is then shipped directly to your doorstep.

Naturally this custom service is going to cost slightly more than your average record, but seeing how this is a completely custom record made by you, the cost increase is fully justified in my eyes. Head on over to their website and start creating your own personal vinyl mix tape now!

$55

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One of my current obsessions after our recent trip to Long Beach are these incredible hats by Nick Fouquet. After moving to Venice Beach in 2008, Nick learned all about the art of hat making from his mentor. Soon after he began making and selling his own hats, which are more like works of art. Made by hand using the finest materials, Nick crafts his bespoke hats using unconventional techniques like pre-distressing, paint splatters and personal touches and add-ons specific to the client, making a hat and it’s owner truly one.

I first found out about his work after watching the incredible video below and after seeing several of his hats around Long Beach and on celebrities like Pharrell, Madonna, Justin Beiber and Lebron James, it’s clear Nick is making a name for himself in the hat world. What I truly love about his hats is how each one is unique, with his distressing techniques giving each at a custom look. Plus, his use of the green matchstick as his personal piece of branding is so dope you can’t help but want to try to slip one into your own hat to see how it looks. The hats aren’t cheap with prices reportedly starting between $400-$800, but they are made to be worn for a lifetime and later handed down to future generations. Next time you are in Venice, I highly recommend stopping into the store and getting one made for yourself. In the meantime be sure the check out his website and Instagram page for more of his designs.

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TLBrunch1

This past Sunday, our good friends at KC You There invited us to sample the new Sunday Brunch menu at Templeton Landing. We’ve reported in the past on Templeton Landing’s incredible location which, during the warmer months is highly deserving of their hashtag #BestSpotInBuff. We’ve returned several times for dinner and good old fashioned day drinking, but never actually been there for brunch. Being that it was the wife’s birthday weekend and the weather was perfect, we jumped at the chance to attend.

The temperature was a balmy 83 degrees outside, but being right on the water, we hardly noticed as we sipped our bottomless mimosas. Up next was one of the real treats of our visit: Templeton Landing’s Colossal Blood Mary’s! As the cart rolled up, we chose between regular or spicy flavor and proceeded to add additional ingredients of our choosing. Being a Bloody Mary novice, I deferred to their best judgment and opted for the standard celery stick, a piece of shrimp, some peppers for color, a stick of savory bacon before finally topping it off with a slider. That’s right. There was a full-on hamburger in my drink and it was fantastic! Hands down of the best Bloody Mary’s we’ve ever had.

Understandably, the Bloody Mary was a tough act to follow. We opted for some of the crowd favorites of Belgian Waffles (which for some reason are called “Belgium” waffles on the menu which the wife pointed out) with strawberries, a side of bacon and Eggs Benedict for the Mrs. The food was good, however the bacon was our favorite part and it’s difficult to make something for brunch really spectacular (especially, like I said before with having to follow up the Bloody Mary’s), but the incredible view from Templeton Landing is so great you hardly mind. Lastly, we ordered some desert mainly because it was the wife’s birthday and she loves key lime pie where as I’m indifferent about it. She thought it was delicious and we enjoyed our view a little while longer before heading home for some lounging by the pool and digesting our delicious brunch.

Thanks again to KC You There and to Templeton Landing for having us. If you’re looking for a stellar brunch spot while the weather is nice, we cannot recommend Templeton Landing enough. Come see for yourself why it’s the #BestSpotInBuff.

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UrbanBuffalo

One of the few shops that we’ve never featured on Buffalo Dandy is the downtown favorite Urban. Recently rebranded as Urban Leisure & Luxury, the Elmwood Village boutique has gotten away from selling snowboards and started focusing on more lifestyle products along with the contemporary men’s and women’s clothing the store is known for. I never thought of Urban as overly Dandy and it had more of a street vibe to it which is one of the reasons why the store never showed up on the blog. However, after stopping in recently and checking out some of their new products I came across a a collection from a company called The Local Branch which I absolutely had to share.

The Local Branch is a lifestyle brand on a journey. The goods are hand crafted by Blaine and Mackenzie in their mobile Airstream trailer as they travel throughout America. Each item they sell is made in a different location during their travels, giving everything a unique heritage backstory. Their current collection of leather goods features bison leather obtained from factories that were using the animals for meat. A holster for your passport/wallet/phone, a saddle bag with a wool blanket and ingenious boot satchels are perfect for storing your valuables during festivals, horseback riding, hiking or whatever outdoor adventures you can think of. The stuff is not cheap, but is built to last a lifetime and I want…WANT the holster! Stop into Urban Leisure & Luxury to shop the collection yourself, and also be sure the check out the rest of the offerings from The Local Branch. Their website and products are beautiful plus the story behind their brand is truly fascinating and worth a read. Urban still has some work to do on their site, but with the new direction the store is taking, I’m definitely planning on stopping in more often.

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EastdaneTravels

Sunday’s have become our official “Family Beach Day” at the Dandy household, which is great because it not only gives us an excuse to head up to Beaver Island for the day, but also to help Dandy Jr. get better acclimated with the water. With our constant trips to the beach, I find myself in need of several key wardrobe pieces which can easily be transitioned from the water and dry land. Above are some of our favorite pieces for these transitions.

Quality Peoples Sweatshirt | JanSport Hatchet Backpack | Swell Stainless Steel Bottle | Apolis Scout Transition Shorts | Converse Jack Purcell Sneakers | O.P. Jewellery Explorer’s Fortune Pendant

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