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What We See

The golden age of durability


Golden Bear is a family-owned business out of SF that makes quality American sportswear in classic styles. They also have a made-to-measure service. This is rare for heritage brands, but a welcome option since many feel like parachutes, not well-fitting jackets.

Speaking of, these guys provided the pilots of the Flying Tigers, Hellcats, P-38s and The Flying Fortress their fighter and bomber jackets during World War II. Their history is impressive, starting in 1922 by catering to dock workers, moving on to pilots, then bands including The Grateful Dead and The Doobie Brothers and all the way up to Presidents, Heads of State and Dignitaries throughout the world.


Their military lineage continues with English Mallalieus wool jackets designed for U.S. Naval officers. They also have a nice mix of leather and suede jackets and have moved to a more modern cut, though for most styles it’s clear you’re getting a heavy jacket, not necessarily a slim silhouette.

These guys aren’t taking home any awards for the website design, but again, that’s not what you’re buying.

Here is a lineup of the styles we liked the most.


Tanner Goods for lasting leather


Leather has become a loosely defined term. You know the feeling when you touch real leather and you wonder what the last ten leather composites were actually made of. Real leather is hard to describe, but fake leather isn’t and unfortunately it often comes with the word genuine in front of it.

Tanner Goods is genuine. Their leather is sourced domestically and assembled by skilled craftsman. When the word “making” comes after your product, then you need skill. Think shoemaking. Their team has been perfecting their skills since the 1960’s and built a reputation for quality and durability.


Leather, much like raw denim, wears with its owner. You want leather goods that last and that is exactly what Tanner Goods has built its name on. From wallets and belts on up to rucksacks and even saddlebags for your bike, there is a lot of choose from. Personally, these camera bags are a must for your next wilderness adventure.


Tanner Goods also partners with retail brands on men’s bags such as messengers so keep an eye out for their branding.



Grenson and the goodyear welt


When you really like something, that inspirational side of you takes over the practical. Guess that’s love. And some guys love Goodyear welted shoes.

They look to Grenson, a British shoemaker founded in 1866, for this style. Grenson builds a durable shoe in a classic style. It’s founder, William Green, learned shoemaking from his mother back when it was a cottage industry. Today, William Green & Son is shortened to Grenson but they are still meticulously hand crafted in England.

Like many heritage brands, Grenson suffered during the depression but rebounded during the 1940’s when it starting making boots for British troops. The military is an interesting thread that many of these high quality brands share. After the depression, when their well-heeled clientele diminished, the military selected these brands because their soldiers needed the best and price doesn’t matter in war.


Grenson has grown from the recent popularity of the Goodyear welt and it’s recognition as an early perfecter of this style. And when you love this style, you want the best and as far as we can tell, that’s Grenson.


Outlier: Solving a need


We like the story of outlier because it solves a need the founders experienced. Our story, the need for a convenient way to get shirts styled for my workplace and me without burning a Sunday shopping, built ShirtCycle. The founders of Outlier needed pants that had style but could also survive their commute on a bike. As someone who started biking everywhere in NYC the second they became an entrepreneur, I can identify with their problem.

Outlier makes comfortable, stylish pants that are built to last. Simple but more rare than you’d think. Style is great but it’s just a prototype if it can’t last more than a season. We’re not in the business of fast fashion, we’re not paying fast fashion prices, and so we expect our clothes to die a slow death. These guys, Australians from outside the fashion industry, get that.


And they’ve operated strictly online since 2008. Personally, I like paying for quality, not rent, in my clothes. And based on the amazing photos that stream their website, your definitely paying for clothes that can withstand any environment, even 5th Avenue. We love their Chinos and especially their 4way stretch Climbers for our bikes.


Check out their open studio, which runs most Fridays 4-7pm, in Brooklyn.

Almost Famous: A great denim brand


In marketing. How you don’t market often matters as much as how you do. This is one of the many reasons we like Naked & Famous Denim, who responded to Justin Bieber’s request for a free pair of jeans to wear on tour with a link to where he could buy them. In an age of celebrity endorsements, it’s great to see a brand lean on its value proposition, not someone else’s.

Celebrity endorsements are so prevalent that we’ve even passed on these opportunities. One involves Bravo TV, apartments and New York City. I’m sure you can guess it. Anyway, raw denim is a crowded space just like men’s dress shirts. But there are no shortcuts to building a brand, or at least a brand that, in our opinion, markets to a practical and intelligent clientele.

Back to jeans. Jeans matter. Jeans are what you wear when you’re looking to meet someone. And when meeting people you want to stand out for the right reasons. Naked & Famous Denim does that. Since 2008, they’ve been making high quality, untreated denim in a great fit. Their denim is imported from Japan and made in their Canadian factory.


Don’t let their name fool you, it’s meant to satirize the celebrity culture that other brands look to for growth. Dive a little deeper into the brand with this video.

Eastland: Mocs made in Maine


Spring means it’s time to find your mocs and boat shoes for the summer. I love the feeling of walking down a dock and kicking these guys off once your step in a boat or jump off. There is no dress shoe to chukka boot transition, just mocs and boat shoes all day. With all day wear outside, you want shoes that are built to last.

Eastland, out of Freeport, Maine, has been making mocs and boat shoes since 1955. At the time, Eastland was one of give shoe manufacturers in Freeport, along with its original factory. The company has been nimble and leaned on its genuine handcrafted quality. It still makes its core collection of classic Eastland camp mocs, loafers and boat shoes in Maine with each box stamped “Made in Maine”.


The camp moc comes from Maine. Its style reflects Maine, a little nautical, preppy, rustic and durable. It truly is a classic and timeless look originally designed to meet the demands of mariner’s. Today, Eastland’s design team in New York and Maine continue to capture this aesthetic in its traditional, rugged construction. Their styles cover every season.


Mocs and boat shoes mean it’s time to relax and Maine’s casual attitude makes Eastland a natural maker of these classic styles. We love the colors of this midcut option, which is flexible across most seasons.


Turn back the clock with Ebbets Field Flannels


I love sports. As a former NY Mets intern, I know the history of Ebbets Field well. The rotunda at Citi Field is a testament to that history. Ebbets Field Flannels (EFF) captures that history not just in bringing back the teams and logos of a bygone era, but also the quality, hand made construction that it accompanied.

EFF founder Jerry Cohen had a problem. He wanted to buy a real wool baseball shirt, but no one made it. So he did. 25 years later, the company is still growing strong, capturing both the sports nostalgia and manufacturing heritage of the early 20th century. Jerry also dresses actors in film and TV, including the movie “42″.

Their jerseys, which run into the hundreds, include many leagues such as the famed Pacific Coast League, which folded in 1958.


EFF has partnered with a lot of brands including J. Crew to get their styles out. Classic jerseys and baseball caps are the perfect weekend look. Jeans, a jersey and cap with a long wool jacket work just right. I grab my Mets cap for most walks with Teddie, even though the Mets are the last thing I want to discuss when trying to relax.


A personal favorite. Their grounds crew jacket provides a streetwear style that let’s you represent your home town. Perfect for a transplant Hoosier like myself.


Lavenham: From the backs of horses to yours


We are in the business of curating style for our clients. As such, we felt that we should also highlight a few menswear brands worth discovering and that complement our shirt styles.

Founded in 1969, Lavenham started with making nylon horse quilts. Luckily for us, in 1972, they applied their expertise to outerwear as well. Lavenham is simple, it’s quality made nylon quilts made in the UK and built with such integrity that the brand is a mainstay.



We all know about the Barbour vest, but its heritage is in waxed jackets. Lavenham’s expertise is in the quilted nylons and in recognizing the heritage trend, branched out in its collections. It has grown popular in European and Japanese markets where authenticity is key.

We love Lavenham for the guy that doesn’t need to flash a Barbour logo to feel he’s validating his style. Heritage brands were built on quality, which you felt in weight. We personally love the classic collection in Harvard and Spruce. And yes they have women’s too.


Style options: Many exist, few matter


We make custom shirts. Custom means options. Options can mean trouble. Hence the personal stylist.

We looked at the cuff and collar styles of the last 10,000 custom shirts we sold in our 5th Avenue store. We offer 12 collar options and quite a few cuff styles.

Surprise. 95% of style combinations fell into 4 buckets. These buckets were used to create our style looks. We let our clients swap the styles of each shirt until all of them match their taste.

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For good measure, we looked at clients that ordered styles outside of the 4 buckets. Of this group, one-third of these clients changed their styles over time and ended up with a style combination featured above.

When style meets data. We can feel confident in a style that stands out because it truly complements our clients, not because it’s been worn by no one ever.


Gifting for guys: Get stuff they want


We recently added gifting for ShirtCycle. It got us thinking about the gifts we want.

The problem with gifts are returns. That awkward decision whether to keep shoes you might wear or ask for a receipt in order to get shoes you will wear.

We are pretty sure only the Grinch asks for gift cards. Asking for these takes the fun out of it, especially for the giver and possibly adds you to an accounting line item, “gift card breakage”. About 10% of gift cards never get redeemed.

With that said, we are excited because ShirtCycle hopefully solves both of these. We are yet to have any returns because we only send shirts in a fit, fabric and style our clients approve. And it’s a targeted gift whose value includes an entire subscription cycle, not part of it. While many companies like gift card breakage because it’s free money, we want every gift to be subscribed because we build a long term relationship with our clients.

Anyway, back to gifts, we were fortunate to be featured first on Business Insider’s list of “22 Gifts That The Modern Gentleman Actually Wants This Year“. We particularly liked Anthony’s travel kit. It will definitely get used by just about every man.