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With the holidays quickly approaching here in Buffalo, it’s time to start planning for one our favorite times of the year: Black Friday. While many wouldn’t dream of heading out into the madness on this often dreaded day after Thanksgiving, I revel in it. It’s a tradition in the Dandy household that we pack into the car and head out usually around 10 am because, while our newborn already has us up at 5:30, we’re not about that “get to the mall at dawn” life. So we head to the mall to brave the crowds, hopefully snag some deals and enjoy our first Peppermint Mocha of the season.

With all the renovations and new stores at the Fashion Outlets at Niagara Falls, it’s easily become one of my favorite shopping destinations in Buffalo. Imagine my surprise/delight when I was asked to participate in a photoshoot at the Outlets to showcase pieces from some of my favorite stores and put together a “What to Wear on Black Friday” outfit.

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The temperatures in Buffalo are dropping steadily, which means Winter will be rearing it’s ugly head soon enough. Which I’m kind of OK with because they means it will be time to start busting out some more rugged wardrobe staples. Thankfully, the recently opened Timberland store has pretty much everything you’ll need to handle those tough Buffalo Winters. The Mount Davis Waxed Jacket is heavy duty enough to protect you from the elements but is also lightweight enough for wearing indoors. So you don’t have to worry about overheating while walking around the mall in a bulky winter jacket. I’m also in love with their Earthkeeper Boots, which are made from recycled materials and are perfect for being on your feet all day while shopping til you drop. The boots tend to run big which means they’ll fit perfectly with a pair thick woolen socks which are also available in the store.

Next we stopped by the Levi’s store and spoke with their extremely knowledgable staff about the best way to finish putting our look together. I’m a big fan our of their 511 style, which is slim but not too slim with just the right amount of stretch and the perfect low rise.  With plenty of washes to choose from, I went with a more worn-in look to match the jacket. I also eyed an olive corduroy western shirt which is just holiday-looking enough amidst the sea of red you tend see everywhere this time of year. With all the affordable pricing on some truly stellar pieces, the Levi’s store quickly became a new favorite of mine.

I finished this casual look off with a nice heavy-knit Hugo Boss scarf from Saks Off Fifth. Now, don’t get me wrong, one could easily pick an entire outfit from any of these stores (more on that later), but I often find this store to be more of a scavenger hunt unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. However, if you’re looking for some simple, well made accessories for some easy stocking stuffer wins, Saks should definitely be one of your first stops.

Once all of these pieces were put together, you have a comfortable yet fashionable look which is perfect for the unpredictable Buffalo weather and makes spending all day at the mall a breeze.

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If you are interested in purchasing any of the items mentioned above, The Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls will be hosting a Fashionably Late Black Friday Event on November 24th-25th. The Mall will open at 8PM-2AM on Thanksgiving Day and reopening at 6AM on Black Friday until 9PM with several stores (Levi’s and Timberland included) staying open for 24 hours straight. This late night shopping event is a great option for those looking to beat some of the holiday crowds without having to get up a the crack of dawn.

Many thanks to the Fashion Outlets at Niagara Falls for letting me spend the day shopping with them and be sure to stay tuned for next month’s post about what to wear to those upcoming Holiday Parties.

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I’m not a huge sneaker guy, but damn these new Nike Air Force 1 Boots look incredible and I need…NEED a pair for Fall.

Born in 1982, the Air Force 1 has long been a force to be reckoned with. Long past its days on the wood, the classic Air Force 1 is now built for the future to deliver urban utility in a military-inspired design.

The SF AF1 features a ballistic nylon upper that’s as tough as it gets for use in all conditions. The dual ankle straps are removable, allowing for a custom look. At the tongue, is an espionage pocket built for easy storage. An exclusive, military-inspired carry bag is included, complete with removable straps. Available online this Saturday at 10am and apparently sneakers sell out fast or something so you may want to jump on these.

$200

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visvimharristweed

Looks like Visvim went full Dandy and decided to collaborate with Harris Tweed to create a handful of beautiful looking tweed jackets. Handwoven by the inhabitants of the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland, Harris Tweed is sought after due to its resistant, thermal properties and rich history. Hand-woven tweed made its way to the upper echelons of British society in the 19th century, only to be endangered by surging market demands that precipitated mill-spun tweed production. In a bid to protect Harris Tweed authenticity, the Harris Tweed Association was established in 1993, enabling native Scottish crofters and cottars to continue a tradition rooted in the spinning and dying of pure virgin wool.

The move to preserve Harris Tweed as a hand-woven material from the Outer Hebrides runs parallel with the level of hereditary practices of craftsmanship passed down by generations of Japanese tailors. The appeal of Harris Tweed to a brand such as Visvim is thus self-evident. Hiroki Nakamura’s label presents four pieces made from genuine Harris Tweed: the Dotera Coat, Hopiland Blazer, Nome P.O. Dress and Sanjuro Jacket. Watch the documentary below from visvim.tv for a brief vignette of the age-old manufacturing process.

I might have to get my hands on some tweed in the coming weeks and try making one of these for Winter.

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With the recent dip in temperature and the more flowing garments I acquire/make, today seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally try out this ASOS Blanket Scarf I purchased last year but never actually wore. Fall is the perfect time to start wearing something as daring as this because it provides just the right amount of warmth and looks freaking amazing blowing in the wind as you walk down the street striking a sweet #menswear pose.

Sadly this style is no longer available, but you can check out some of the latest versions on ASOS’s website here.

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timexjcrewdiver

Timex has once again teamed up with J.Crew to offer a new take on the classic diver watch. Featuring a quartz analog movement with a functioning bezel, this military inspired black-on-black tactical diver watch comes with a great heavy duty brown nato strap (with other color options available). Very affordably priced at $128, this is a great no-fuss watch that will surely get better looking with age.

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noragi

As I’m sure you’ve noticed from some of the recent outfit posts on the blog and BD Instagram,  these past few seasons I’ve been more and more obsessed with longer sweaters and jackets, particularly ones of the Japanese kimono variety. One of the most revered brands which specializes in this style of jacket is Visvim and their Sanjuro jackets. While these garments are beautiful to look at and undoubtedly exceptionally made, the price range for the majority of these coats is astronomical. Like $1,000 astronomical. Not gonna happen.

While I’ve been salivating over one of these for a while and playing with the idea of scouring sites like Grailed.com for a used one, I wasn’t even sure if I would like how it looked on me once I got it. Then I remembered, oh wait, I can totally just sew one of these myself for like $20. So that’s what I did. After doing some research on kimono and noragi jackets (which I found out was the correct term for what I was trying to make) I acquired the right kind of mid-weight denim I was looking for and got to work. Naturally this took a little longer than usual to make because my sewing time had to revolve around waiting the wife and I put the kids to bed, but once I got back into the swing of staying up late and flexing the old sewing muscles I realized just how much I had missed making my own clothes.

I chose to keep the edges of the eri (collar) raw, for both a contrast and distressed look and I kept the sleeves longer than the standard workwear shortened length so I could roll the sleeves if I wanted. While the final result is far from perfect, that was a great way to give this style of outerwear a test drive without breaking the bank. Plus the fact that I can say “yeah I made this” never gets old.

If you are digging this style of jacket and are curious of where to get one, I’ve picked out some of my favorite options below. Like I said, been obsessing over these for a while.

Visvim | Etsy | ASOS | Grailed | Betabrand

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Summer is making way for Autumn. That means it’s once again time for the darling of BLRC runs. The Buffalo Lazy Randonneur Club hosts our sixth annual and the world’s only Johnny Onion Ride. On this day we pay homage to AR JOHNNIGED BRO ROSKO, the pedaling peddlers of Breton’s famous Roscoff onions. Under their adopted moniker of Onion Johnny, these intrepid farmers have peddled their onions throughout Great Britain on bicycles. After crossing the channel by ferry, the Onion Johnny strings his bicycle with a hundred pounds of prized onions to sell to homes and restaurants. We will not ask so much of you.

We do ask that you outfit yourself in [stereo]typical french maritime or farmer style. Stripes, Berets, Neckerchiefs, etc. Also string a few onions to your own bike and we will add them to a cauldron of french onion soup made at the end of the ride. We gather at noon on the first Sunday of autumn at our waterfront park, a port of Buffalo’s own ferry. From there we lazily ride along bike paths to the rose garden pergola at Delaware Park, our nod to the English rose. Feel free to bring any other refreshments or picnic fare you like.

As always we request that you remain responsible for your own safety and equipment. Whenever you ride, follow all laws and safety precautions.

This is a RAIN OR SHINE event. Sailors and farmers dress like they do for a reason.

Johnny Onion Ride
Canalside Buffalo
Sunday, September 25th at Noon (Ride usually starts at 1-ish)

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Manready Merc Knickerbocker MFG Chore Coat | J.Crew St. James T-shirt | Pedrito Beret | Dr. Collectors Rolling Scarf | Gant Slim Cargo Pants | Vintage Vixa Type 2 Chrono | New England Outerwear Co Lazy Mocs | Kronebourg Beer

 

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One of my favorite #menswear blogs Parisian Gentleman recently published an article reinforcing a firm belief of mine that one should be well-dressed while traveling on a plane. Not to say you need to be in a three-piece suit while taking your family on a trip to Disney World, but at the very least make an effort and don’t travel in pajama pants.

As Hugo points out,“Being elegantly dressed triggers a set of reactions with people you meet during your voyage – from ground agents, to the security team, to the border police, the cabin crew and the passengers, with these encounters accompanied by reactions which are consistently the same – smiles, kindness, respect and politeness — to the degree which camouflage cargo shorts with hiking sandals could never hope to replicate.”

[via Parisian Gentleman]

OF THE PLEASURE OF TRAVELING ELEGANTLY

Traveling has been part of the DNA of Parisian Gentleman since we began this project seven years ago.

Sonya, Greg and I have been roaming the world tirelessly for the needs of our editorial work as well as for a number of side activities related to Parisian Gentleman – ranging from university conferences to private receptions, various “sartorial” events, PG events, and book signings, to visiting a staggering amount of workshops and manufactures for my books (as well as attending international trade salons, movie sets, interviews for the press—traditional and digital). As a matter of reality, we’ve been on the road more days then we can count.

Last year, for the research work for my upcoming “The Italian Gentleman” book and for the various signing events for “The Parisian Gentleman”, we traveled for a solid 9 months without setting foot back home. We trekked all over Italy of course, but also we spent significant time in Spain, the UK, the US, Asia, South America, Canada, and in Eastern Europe.

Of course, “on the road” is a figure of speech here. We mostly took the plane. And by mostly, I mean an obscene amount of time over the past twelve months.

Yet we never compromised with one of our internal rules – that of always traveling well-dressed. Be it with a full suit or sports jacket, a tie, a pocket square, or at the very least, a pair of well-shined shoes and a nice, freshly ironed shirt. This rule we wouldn’t cheat on, no matter the destination or the duration of the trip.

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It’s a rule which might seem ludicrous to many – as it seems understood that the priority when traveling, in particular on a long-haul flight, would be to put comfort over style, for obvious reasons and benefits.

Still, having traveled a solid couple hundred times fully suited-up (with tie) over the past couple of years – and not only in business class (not by a long stretch) – I can attest that it is perfectly possible to travel while dressed elegantly. Not only that, but chances are, traveling in style will improve, almost constantly, the quality of your travel experience.

And why ? Being elegantly dressed triggers a set of reactions with people you meet during your voyage – from ground agents, to the security team, to the border police, the cabin crew and the passengers, with these encounters accompanied by reactions which are consistently the same – smiles, kindness, respect and politeness — to the degree which camouflage cargo shorts with hiking sandals could never hope to replicate.

Mad Men Flight

Believe me when I say : being dressed, and behaving elegantly for a long trip will almost always bring its fair share of perks and good surprises : last-minute upgrades for your seat arrangements, fast-pass for the check-in line, ease of access to many frequent flyer salons, and fast-tracks even without the right ticket, second servings of red wine and crackers, and a wealth of other similar tidbits that will make your trip more enjoyable. Dressing well, especially when sharp clothes are paired with elegant behavior, will earn you a lot of sympathy – especially when you act well in the gravity of a difficult situation without irritation or annoyance, and keep that smile alive.

Climbing in a place for a long-haul travel in a bespoke suit with a well-tied tie and a nice pair of shoes is a surprisingly positive experience – both for your own benefit and that of the crew, who seems to appreciate nicely dressed and well-behaved passengers. More often than not, the cabin crew will be particularly considerate to “that guy with the suit and the long hair” and his partner “that girl in the suit with a tie and suspenders, in seats 14 E and F”. Over the years, some crew members even approached us to say how nice it was for them to serve passengers that set themselves apart from the usual fare, in a positive way.

I like to travel while wearing a tie, if only to set myself apart from the crowd.

Another reason I prefer to wear a tie during travel is because this small gesture lends an “ambiance from the past” to the travel experience — as if crossing the Atlantic in an airplane was still an event in itself, a special occasion worth dressing well for in advance.

If you’re wearing a shirt from a quality source and if your tie is light and the knot is sturdy, you’ll be able to travel an entire eight-hours-plus trip without looking worse for wear, although you may need to loosen the tie a bit and open up your shirt collar a button or two for a nap…

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Of course these days, traveling well-dressed does not necessarily require wearing a tie. Indeed, a nice travel jacket with a well-fitted button-down shirt and a good pair of cotton trousers will do the trick as well.

Traveling elegantly dressed is important, as far as I’m concerned — if only because it turns a deeply boring and frankly tiring experience in a truly pleasant human experience.

Try it for yourself, and see the difference…

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I want thaaaaat…. Filson has been absolutely killing it with their watches lately and their newest collaboration is no exception. Introducing the Limited Edition Smokey Bear Watch.

Filson has worked with many industries and organizations over the past 119 years, but some of our most special relationships have been with the men and women who work in the woods. This year, we celebrate one of our nation’s most beloved outdoorsmen with a special, limited-edition Smokey Bear Watch. This individually-numbered watch is boxed with a collection of Smokey Bear goods. Each watch comes with a certificate of authenticity, a book that tells the story of Smokey Bear and Filson’s relationship with the outdoors, and six postcards of reimagined, vintage Smokey posters.

FEATURES

  • Four piece, bolt-reinforced roller buckle style closure
  • Stainless steel case back with brass PVD plating and Filson logo is secured by six screws
  • Limited to 1000 pieces
  • Individually numbered
  • Assembled in Detroit at the Shinola Watch Factory
  • 43mm stainless-steel case
  • Argonite 715 quartz movement
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal

$1,000

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Our favorite milliner Nick Fouquet just launched his newly redesigned website which includes (at long last) an online store! The fact that I can now order my own Nick Fouquet hat online makes me happier than words can say, however that feeling quickly vanishes when I realize the cost of the hats start at over $1000… Soul-crushing is a word I would use.

Still, if you have some money saved up or if dropping a cool G is no big deal to you, I suggest heading over to Nick’s revamped site and start picking one out. I’ve selected my top favorite designs from his Spring 16 line below to help with your decision making process. All kidding aside, seeing these hats up close confirms that they truly are works of art and I really, really, really want one.

www.nickfouquet.com

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