Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Barbour is one of the world’s best outdoor clothing companies. It's one of those companies that actually has a pedigree. It has been creating garments for people who enjoy spending a significant amount of time out of the city since 1894.
Their garments are so good that they have been the providers of outdoor clothing  ( waterproof and protective clothing)  to the Queen of England, the Duke of Edinburgh (her husband) and the Prince of Wales (their son Charles).  Those of you with a keen eye might have spotted their garments in the movie 'The Queen' with helen Mirren. While the movie was screening,  the store in NY could not keep up with the demand for their products.

Their pieces are not only made with incredible attention to details of style and function but they perform flawlessly in all weather from fog to storms to searing heat;  their durability is legendary. I know people who have had their coats for decades.

I got this jacket in waxed cotton ( classic baufort jacket) at their store in NY ( they have web retailers as well) for $449. And not only is it cool, but  it kept me super dry during the last rain storm.  And the double zipper allows me to zip it up from the bottom so that I can wear it when i am riding my scooter.  

And btw, if you were wondering, the first waxed cotton products  were impregnated with linseed oil.  This helped the fabric become stronger, more durable, and  weatherproof.  Unfortunately, after a while the fabric took on a yellowish hue, the color of fisherman's clothing ( the early adopters of treated cotton...)

Keep shopping I

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It all starts with a shoe...

Nothing is as classic yet modern as penny loafer shoe.
This pair from Prada (bought on sale at Nordstrom in San Francisco for $379) is a perfect example. They look great with rolled up denim (make sure you wear a good sock with it) and even better with dress pants or a suit.
While the original loafers ( G.H Bass around 1934) had more of a square toe and an angular shaped cut out on the strap across the saddle, this pair is updated with a slender toe and a crescent shape cut-out. Granted, these are not cheap; you can find great loafers for less (Bass still makes its original and updated versions of Weejuns. But its the details on this pair that makes them an extra good buy.
The sole is made of rubber so you can walk in them all day long comfortably. While a leather sole might be more elegant, after a few hours of walking and standing around,the feet start to hurt. A leather sole transfers the force of each step to the foot; rubber soles absorb most of that impact so you can walk around in them for the whole day without feeling fatigued.

These shoes are especially good for travel. If you are like me, you hate to shelp (Yiddish for haul or carry) multiple pairs of shoes with you for a short jaunt to New York or Los Angeles. I want to be comfortable (especially when walking, looking for the best finds ) but still stylish; with these shoes I can be both.
They are also great at airports! You can slip them off and on for those pesky security checks. Keep Shopping I

Monday, December 20, 2010

Go native

Since 1863, Pendelton woolen mills have been trading and weaving. In 1909 their first jacquard Indian trading blanket rolled off the loom in Oregon and since then, they have been a staple in American homes.
Their patterns and tartans are woven from the very fabric that America is made of, weaving history, enterprise, social responsibility and fashion into their products. This family owned company (6th generation currently at the helm..) is producing innovative, fashion-forward products without sacrificing quality and a "work man" feel.
This cardigan (bought at Opening Ceremony in Los Angeles for $148) is a shawl cardigan (its called Jerome and its a jacquard pattern from the 1920s renamed after the once notorious mining town of Jerome.) It is black wool with a native American pattern weaved into it.
As it is 100% lambswool its very warm and the black background accentuates the pattern, making it at once casual and unique. I wear it with denim, a white shirt and boots.
If you look closely you will see more and more native American patterns out there. The trend of well-crafted Americana fashion that combines a casual easy chic with well made, tailored clothing is embracing the aesthetic of Native Americans as a way to add a certain 'flair'. This is a natural continuum of the trend of local, artisanal fashions that we are in right now... Keep Shopping I