“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”—Maurice Sendak (via bobulate)
“(T)he Ayn Rand six step. Step one: discredit government. Step two, starve it. Step three, when the underfunded government can’t perform, stand back and say “I told you so.” Step four, create the myth of the individual uber-alles – the Marlboro man on steroids; Step five, if anyone gets wise, find a scapegoat and blame it on them – gays, immigrants, government workers; government working gay immigrants. Step six, when things get bad, divide and conquer – “if it wasn’t’ for them…”——John Atcheson, “Atlas Mugged”, at commondreams.org (via bitteroldpunk)
I would like to posit, strongly, that these type of shoes should not be worn in any context other than jogging, or perhaps walking to or from a jogging-like activity. I have seen way too many people out and about this summer wearing barefoot shoes—as regular shoes.
I feel compelled to respond, both as a man who takes a great deal of pride in his appearance and as a runner.
Here’s the thing with that argument, the one where you should wear them for running only, as that is what they were made for.
It doesn’t work that way.
This is a bit complicated, because she’s partly right, of course: they look kind of stupid.
I’ve been wearing them for a few years now, and I’ll be the first to tell you they look kind of dumb. But I bought them for a very simple reason: I had a very fucked up running gait, bought the Frankenstein corrective running shoes, and still got injured. I could in fact barely walk after completing my first marathon.
Then I read about barefoot running, and turned to it in desperation. I began consciously focusing on building the muscles in my feet and lower legs to correct what was wrong with my stride, and that kicked off a long and often frustrating climb toward developing a running style that was healthy and low-impact.
This is the key part: it doesn’t work if you only go barefoot for thirty minutes to an hour, three times a week. Growing up in normal shoes encourages you to let muscles in your feet and lower legs atrophy, and building those muscles back up only happens if you’re working on them as often as you can, which means going barefoot or barefoot-ish as often as you can.
So I get that they look dumb. I get that they’re a fad right now, which automatically makes them annoying to everyone who didn’t buy in. It also means a bunch of poseurs who don’t run wear them, the same way you see fat guys eating ice cream in Under Armour and want to have a conversation with them about cognitive dissonance, and that’s even more annoying.
But for the thousands of us who are honestly trying to become strong runners and fix what’s fucked with our feet? We got no choice, maing.
Can you get casual or athletic shoes with no toes with minimal soles to wear when you’re not running? Sure. Merrell makes some (one men’s casual leather), as do Vivo (note that most of those look stupid too) and other companies.
But I only have so much money to spend on clothes, and I’d rather not spend a hundred bucks on another barefoot shoe. I’d rather do as Jesse suggests and save that money to buy a nice pair of brown captoes, or maybe even a nice suit (if I’m lucky enough to find a good enough deal on ebay that Put This On hasn’t broadcast to the entire world—-seriously, guys, I know you’re trying to add value, but don’t spoon-feed the people too lazy to do their own hunting).
If that means looking kind of doofy when I go to Walgreens or take my kids to the park, so goddamn be it. I’m sorry if every third neuron firing in your brain is focused on my shoes (yes, you are over-analyzing), but I assure you mine’s focused on other stuff.
n. the imaginary committee of elders that keeps a running log of your mistakes, steadily building their case that you’re secretly a fraud, a coward, a doofus and a douche, and who would’ve successfully revoked your good fortune years ago had they not been hampered by bitter squabblings over grammar and spelling.
“In the safest, most boring country, the worst lone gunman shooting happens. The worst in the world, in history. But it will not make our country worse. The safe, boring democracy will supply him with a defense lawyer as is his right. He will not get more than 21 years in prison as is the maximum extent of the law. Our democracy does not allow for enough punishment to satisfy my need for revenge, as is its intention. We will not become worse, we will be better. We lived in a land where this is possible, even easy. And we will keep living in a land where this is possible, even easy. We are open, we are free and we are together. We are vulnerable by choice. And we will keep on like that, that’s how we want to live. We will not be worse because of the worst. We must be good because of the best.”—Ola (via youmightfindyourself)
“America now jails more of its people than any country, including all totalitarian states. We pretend to a war against narcotics, but in truth, we are simply brutalizing and dehumanizing an urban underclass that we no longer need as a labor supply.”—David Simon on the War on Drugs. Via Guernica. (via bitteroldpunk)
Too many of the biggest sites on the internet today provide “free services”: they choose not to charge their users. This is a costly mistake that we’ll see play out again and again over the next few years as these sites struggle to simultaneously pay back venture capital investments and scale…
I had the honour of reading this first hand & sent it to a certain publication who then chose not to print in full..
With times of financial insecurity, invariably there comes a return to proper business wear - the Friday casuals and tie-less weekdays become too risky for those whose superiors work in the same office, and convincing a client that you have their best interests are at heart when taking their money is even harder, making the appearance of sobriety and professionalism ever more important. But this bearish turn after years of bullish business is only a small part of why men return to classism and elegance in their dress.
After working in the industry the past 12 years, I have seen a shift from the mindless optimism and consumerism of the early 00’s, with clothing traded merely on the strength of the model wearing them, to a much more educated man, looking for quality, heritage, and an individually tailored product. While we have had a new suit wearer looking for only the hallmarks of traditional tailored excellence - the surgeon cuff, the channel cut sole, the bridle leather attaché - increasingly this is being bastardized by clever marketeers, much like the over use of the very word “bespoke”. So where is the new value in menswear? In clothing tailored not only to your body, but to your life, personality, needs and idiosyncrasies - be they physical or otherwise. The new suit wearer doesn’t want to dress like this American designer, that Parisian house or this Savile row cutter - they want to dress of themselves.
And dressing of yourself can mean much more than gorge height and lapel width. It’s about what you do functionally in your suit, the climate you wear it in and the image you wish to present. One of the best dressed men I have the privilege of making for - Most Exerent’s GW - has clothes that speak not only of him, but that carry what he needs to carry, perform for the different clients he may meet, cities he may be living in or persona he needs to present. While some suits are in unlined, high twist cloth, cut fuller in the leg and more generous in the sleeve to allow the sharpest result when getting off a plane and into a meeting, others might have hidden phone pockets and lining details for while he is at home. Suits made in two colors of the same cloth - generally navy and grey or mid blue and cream - allow for four different looks from minimal packing space. Trousers are sans belt loops to allow multiple colours of shoe and bag without worrying about having the right belt. The best dressed man might only have 5 suits and 10 shirts, but you can bet they will all fit perfectly - both on the wearer and with each other.
In 1956’s “The man in the gray flannel suit”, Gregory Peck wears what came to signify mindless corporate adherence - the clone like sack suit in a gray worsted, black oxford bals and a fedora. More than 50 years later, a classic gray suit and polished black shoes are nothing of the sort. Indeed, to wear a suit now is bucking the trend, and to wear it well - in gray rather than black, a plain worsted rather than a myriad stripe, fitting comfortably and tailored correctly, rather than overhanging the knuckles and falling off the hips as young trends have seen them evolve. Much like the punk who wears ripped denim and a Mohawk to “rebel”, Friday casual and branded sportswear no longer says much of someone being an individual and comfortable in their role, but more that they lack the confidence to dress.
While the modern city has a dearth of good tailors, and the younger man a lack of funds to visit the best, it doesn’t mean that to wear ready to wear clothing means all chance of individualism is gone. Indeed, for many young men still proportional in their measurements, off the rack may achieve a better result when beginning to build a wardrobe. My steadfast rule has always been, whatever you are willing to spend on a suit, allow at least 20% of that figure again for alterations. A $9000 suit 2 inches to long in the sleeve and trouser will look like it’s worth all of $90, just as an immaculately finished and fitted $900 suit will stand up credibly beside one 5 times it’s value. Sadly most young men miss this part though, and rather than having their clothes fit them well, they spend the extra money on a branded wallet or cufflinks, making the whole far less than the sum of it’s parts.
An average suit below the $1000 price point should perform it’s duties for 2 years or so, a suit double that price might live to three times it’s age when well cared for. A bespoke suit, handmade from the best cloth can expect to be inherited by your son. But only if well treated. Likewise a good pair of shoes might live live for 15 years where an average pair only 5, but if any garment is worn continuously you will be lucky to get 6 months before t starts looking like a dogs breakfast. I’d advise young men to buy two pairs of shoes, and two suits, at the limit of what they can comfortably afford. Rotated, aired and polished, they will only get better, and mean that they are still good garments by the time you can afford to go shopping again.
Pocket squares, knit ties, cufflinks and tie pins are all great things to have. I couldn’t feel properly presented without them. But never at the expense of a great pair of shoes, a suit that fits or simple clean classics. In that sense, Peck’s grey flannel wearing Tom Rath had a head start on everyone.
His purpose was strategic: to show up at the meeting with something so substantive that everyone else would have to fall into the role of simply proposing modifications to it, so that the overall shape, and therefore schedule, of the project would be roughly as he wanted.
"Taking the lower figure, that means that New York Times, if it stopped printing a physical edition of the paper, could afford to give every subscriber a free Kindle. Not the bog-standard Kindle, but the one with free global data access. And not just one Kindle, but four Kindles. And not just once, but every year. And that’s using the low estimate for the costs of printing."