Dec 30, 2009

Dec 28, 2009

Cigarette Cases - Who Knew?

Would you believe me if I told you a cigarette case sold for £612,250** at the beginning of December and it wasn't the only one to pass the six digit mark? See the story here.*

I've always loved the look of vintage cigarette paraphernalia** - ashtrays, match tins, cigar boxes, cigarette cases, lighters, holders, smoking sets, tobacco jars, smoking jackets and slippers, the list goes on. Turns out there's a resurgence of the cigarette case/tin. With cigarettes now in those ridiculous zombie mouth picture packs and credit card slim technology the cases have become highly collectible and more difficult to find.

Some of the more collectible cases are those carried by soldiers in WWI & WWII some of which have been claimed to have stopped bullets - such as the one carried on D-Day by James Doohan aka Scotty (Star Trek), sterling silver and those with historical provenance. I'd go for the sterling silver ones as they'll only go up in price.

I've assembled a few photos of cases I found on Etsy. There are more to be found if you go to my Etsy men's favourites widget on the left. As Etsy is an online shopping source remember - caveat emptor.

Mid-century sterling silver grooved case. Available on Etsy here.

Pre 1949 sterling silver case from Siam. Available on Etsy here.

English sterling silver engraved case from 1916. WWI was 1914-1918.
Available on Etsy here.

Sterling silver case available on Etsy here

Post Korean war souvenir set. There are collectors out there that specialize in 'Japanese souvenir'
Available on Etsy here.

* I believe this is the big money case here.
**For the record, I don't smoke.

How to Choose a Collar Style

I've been watching a lot of late 30s/early 40s films lately - the men are so impeccably stylish and the women so confidently sexy.

What really has caught my eye in these films are the men's collar styles. Not only are they a means to showing off a great tie (and its knot) but also a great way to show off great facial features. So, which collar is best for your face?

from shirtsandties

button-down collar
Keep the buttons done up - that's what they're there for. Looks good under a sweater because it keeps the collar in place. Shouldn't be worn by full, angular or long faced men.

Tab collar (what a great tie he has on). Long and angular faces should stay away from these. Spread collar (popularly known as the albany collar in the 30s). Not suitable for a round or square face as it will make it look fuller.

straight collar
You'll see these on most shirts from the 70s. Not so good on a long or angular face.
Note the waffle weave straight bottom tie - for similar.

James Coburn - which collar works best for him?

Dec 22, 2009

Quote of the Week - Victor Borge

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year.

I've been saving that photo for you all year! From my little family to yours, 'Happy Holidays'.
btw that's not my family in the photo.

Top 5 Best Last Minute Gifts

1. custom made wine basket
Fill it with smoked salmon pate, olive tapenade and antipasto, savory crackers, premium chocolates, decadent cookies, exquisite olive oils and vinegars, glass ware and decanters, and a fine selection of wine chosen by experts in the field. Skip the wicker basket if possible and go for something a little more chic.

2. a night in a five star hotel
sometimes it's just nice to sleep in different sheets.

3. classic appetizer/service plate with knife
I received one of these as a thank you gift and it is the best gift I ever received from someone I hardly knew. It's glass with silver trim and the knife has an abalone handle. I'm surprised by how often I use it and how many compliments I get on it. It's a little something to add flare to simple cheese and crackers. This is a nice looking one.

4. tickets to a show
I'd love to get these as I'm too cheap to buy them for myself. If they're into sports go for tickets to a game.

5. honesty
I'm sorry but our finances are a little tight this year.

Top 5 Worst Last Minute Gifts

1. Jams, jellies, preserves
I have about three jars of grape jelly in my fridge 2005-2008. They even moved apartments with me. I wish these could go to the food bank. Why is grape jelly purple?

2. Starbucks's paraphernalia
I'd rather have the cash than the gift card.

3. Mittens, scarves, toques
We have one month of not even really that cold weather in Vancouver. Do you know how many itchy toques I have?

4. Cheap wine
Unless it's a case of Bluberg I can use for risotto.

5. Scratch and win cards, lotto tickets
More desirable than the Starbuck's card though.

Oh - I'm so ungrateful.

Dec 21, 2009

10 Household Items to Use on Last Minute Wardrobe Malfunctions

  1. clear nail polish - Stops runs in your tights from going further. Dab some at each end of the snag.
  2. hairspray - Removes ink from vinyl fabrics. Test a small area to make sure it doesn't take the color out. Spritz a small amount on the ink and dab the spot out.
  3. petroleum jelly - Buffs up patent shoes and bags. Good for a little extra shine on the lips as well. Not too much though or it'll look like you just ate pork chops.
  4. candles - Rub on a sticky zipper to help it slide.
  5. fabric softener sheet - Gets rid of static from your clothes in a hurry. Rub it on the inside of the clingy piece of clothing and the part of your body it's clinging to. Curb fly away hair this way too.
  6. shaving razor - Use to shave pilling off sweaters or wool coats (check your sleeve bottom, I bet it's pilled). Shave in one direction. Don't push to hard or you'll make a hole.
  7. stud earring - Fix up a neckline that's plunging just a little too much by pinning it a bit with the stud.
  8. elastics - Keep your pants tucked in your boots by wrapping the elastic around the bottom.
  9. tape - Instant hem.
  10. pencil - Use it to push through pulls in a sweater. Put the tip of the pencil on the pull and push it through to the other side. Pull the yarn through from the inside.

Dec 20, 2009

Do you have any papers?

Oil - not so valuable when it's on your face.
Guys don't fear them - use them - they're called blotting papers. A forehead beaded with oil is not attractive. Tea tree papers are nice because tea tree has antibacterial qualities that may help your enlarged pores (because that's where the oil is coming from) ward off blemishes. Make sure you get the ones without powder or you'll look like Amadeus.

30 Things Every Man Should Have

  1. good wine glasses
  2. nose hair trimmers
  3. a vase
  4. a bottle of good bubbly on hand
  5. black jeans
  6. a bathing suit - in plain black
  7. a hardcover dictionary (bonus points for a thesaurus)
  8. a black suit
  9. needle and thread
  10. extra shoelaces
  11. white well tailored shirt
  12. black and brown cream shoe polish
  13. cedar shoe trees
  14. a great set of knives
  15. a blender
  16. top coat that comes below the knees
  17. a bottle of wine ready for a last minute dinner invite
  18. extra deodorant and shirt/sweater in the car, locker, or bag
  19. cuff links
  20. a big umbrella you can use like a walking stick
    unbreakable umbrella by Real Self Defense

  21. wooden hangers (including pant hangers)
  22. a belt where the prongs go through the third hole
  23. sturdy garlic crusher
  24. serving bowls that don't look like mixing bowls
  25. hand cream
  26. boxers and briefs
  27. black silk knit tie
  28. calling card on the heaviest stock - seriously stand out
  29. extra sheets
  30. a sense of humour
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Dec 18, 2009

Not a new idea but a good idea

I started my menswear label after being continually asked (of my vintage clothing) if I, 'had another one in a different size'. <-- I know, strange question.

Being of an entrepreneurial spirit I asked myself, 'Where could I get the same vintage thing in numerous sizes and in large quantities?', and so began my label.

If you know how to upholster, have cash flow, are well connected and entrepreneurial and have the resources (me) you'll know where I'm going with this post.

old bus signs on a wing back at Atelier Abigail Ahern by DavidmetNicole

vintage sofa and 60s and 70s fabrics at Bokja

old truck tarps (think Freitag) at Bobo
vintage Union Jack flag

vintage silk scarves at Suzann Fellman

The winner is...

Gray C. of NYC! Congrats Gray. The cuff links are very cool - especially the oval ones.

** PS I found another great men's giveaway last weekend so watch for it in the New Year.

Dec 17, 2009

Quote of the Week - Hardy Amies

Never wear shorts except at water's edge.

Dec 16, 2009

Dec 15, 2009

15 tips that could save your life

Being somewhat of a conspiracy theorist I always expect the worst and am therefore prepared for the worst - it's really simple logic but that's another blog post. If you're heading out for an hour ramble in the car or a 12 hour hike in the back country be prepared. I've been known to turn around on hikes with friends that sporadically become a little longer than what we're prepared for. Better safe than sorry.
  1. Bring a compass, GPS, or map (in water proof bag). Pay attention to the sky - know how to read the sun and the stars - I'm not referring to astrology here.
  2. Light - headlamp, or flashlight with extra batteries and bulb.
  3. Expect snow - even in the summer.
  4. Bring extra clothes - layer, get some waterproof clothing, invest in fibres that wick the moisture off your body. Waterproof clothing can be expensive. I've found quite a lot of it in thrift stores. Try there first. Water repellent and water proof are different. Extra socks and gloves in your bag.
  5. Sunglasses
  6. Pocketknife - I have the Victorinox Swiss Arm Camper knife. It's indispensable. I love this knife and never leave out on a trip without it.
  7. Extra water - yes, it can be heavy when you're hiking but it's paramount to your survival. I'll tote a few extra ounces if it could save my life. Make sure your companions have their own. You don't want to end up like a those dudes in the Western movies laying in the desert with only one canteen and the last drop.
  8. Extra food - energy bars, nuts, dried fruit
  9. Tell someone where you're going - leave a note in your car, on your Facebook status, voice mail
  10. Firestarter (flint) and candle
  11. Matches in a waterproof bag
  12. First aid - keep it stocked. You should have one in your car, one in your house and a compact one you carry with you. Even better - make a New Years Resolution to take a First Aid course.
  13. Cell phone - I only have a Pay As You Go and load it when I'm going on a road trip or hike.
  14. Set out early - in the winter months it gets dark as early as 3:30 - you'll get disoriented once the sun goes down.
  15. Never go down a gully - I was lost for hours after I stupidly went down a gully while snowboarding on Big White. I finally ended up on a logging road. Thankfully, it was still light out and the cougar tracking me was only in my mind - I hope.

Style Inspiration: Terence Stamp

Dec 8, 2009

Vintage Halston

Andy Warhol for Halston - 1982

Dec 7, 2009

Quote of the Week - Shawn Ashmore

Style is a reflection of your attitude and your personality.

Dec 4, 2009

8 Winter Coats Styles for Men

(l) vintage Guards Lounge Lizard for similar
(r) vintage Rice

(l) Rick Owens F/W 09
(r) vintage Gloverall duffle

(l) vintage military parka
(r) Burberry short trench F/W 09

(l) Lounge Lizard
(r) Krane F/W 09

Electric Chocolate Lilies