Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day Style Primer

Memorial Day weekend is here and it's sure to be filled with parties, cookouts, beach excursions, etc. I'm going to focus on what I think may be the two most popular; the backyard cookout, and the waterfront clambake. If you get an invite to one of these this weekend, then Ive got a few pointers on how to dress to make sure you bring in the unofficial start of Summer in style.

Backyard BBQ
Shirt~Todd Snyder $175
Boat Shoes~Ralph Lauren $295
Shorts~Orlebar Brown $235
Ginger-Ale~Blenheim $24 for a case of 24
Cookouts are dangerous territory when it comes to trying to keep yourself clean. You're eating with your hands, on flimsy paper plates, while standing, and possibly a little tipsy (more on that later). Accidents are bound to happen. That's why this madras shirt from Todd Snyder is perfect. Ketchup and mustard drips blend right in. And about the shorts, who says denim shorts are uncool? This pair by the swimwear kings Orlebar Brown begs to differ. It's a soft denim that's been faded to give it a blueish-grey tone. Perfect for wiping your hands on when you drop your napkin. 

*Wild Card Accessory*
While I don't partake in nor advocate drinking, I'm aware that there'll probably be plenty of that going on. 99% of the time I'm either drinking water or sugarless coffee. But in the spirit of camaraderie and carbonation, I'll play along and chug some local Ginger-Ale from the family-owned company from Blenheim, SC. They've been making this stuff since the late 1800's from a mineral spring that was stumbled upon in 1721. I think they kinda know what they're doing. They've actually got a pretty cool story.

Gant Rugger $145
Some of us will be on grill duty this weekend. Depending on your perspective, you will either get "stuck" on the grill, or you will "get to man" the grill. In either case, you should wear an apron to keep those grease splatters off your clothes. But not a corny "Kiss the Cook" apron. A manly man's apron like this one from Gant Rugger. Each is made from a full sheet of denim fabric so you get the selvedge line at the top and the bottom. There's a YouTube video where the Creative Director of Gant, Christopher Bastin (no relation to Michael Bastian) talk about the apron and how that season's "chef collection" came about.

Waterfront Clambake
Polo~Boast $84
Sweater~Gant Rugger $125
Swimtrunks~Paul Smith $145
Sneaker~Converse $60
Tote~Want les Essentiels de la Vie $350
Tartar Sauce~Charleston Original Sauces $54 for a case of 12
A slightly different approach is needed because of the different circumstances. Swim trunks are in order since you will be right by the water and it makes it easy to just strip off your shirt and shoes and hop in. A polo by Boast, the iconic tennis brand, is easy to put on and take off with less buttons to fuss with. And you have that collar just begging to be popped to slug it out with the sun. Now I know the sweater is throwing some of you for a loop, but I can assure you, once the sun goes down, that comforting breeze you once had will turn outright chilly, A light cable-knit sweater in a pastel hue does the trick and the fun can last until the sun comes back up again. 

*Wild Card Accessory* 
A proper tote is the best place to hold your belongings like a good book, your camera, and the ultimate condiment. To go along with the oysters, crab, lobster, shrimp, etc, some homegrown tartar sauce from a husband and wife out of Mount Pleasant, SC is the unrivaled icing on the cake. Do yourself a favor and bring your own bottle and keep it close. Things like that can mysteriously go missing. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

UNIQLO x Michael Bastian Release

About a month ago, the #Menswear blogosphere lit on fire with the news of a collaboration on the horizon between UNIQLO, the Japanese retailer with a high quality looks at low prices, and 7-time Menswear designer of the year nominee Michael Bastian. Collaborations aren't exactly a new thing for the fashion industry but as of late its been happening more often. Some of the notable ones over the past few were Karl Lagerfeld x H&M, Rodarte x Target, and Jil Sander x UNIQLO. It normally ends up being pretty profitable for both parties. And it gives the customer the opportunity to own something with the stamp of a high end designer at a lower tiered price. For example, a Michael Bastian polo will cost you between $200-$300. The polos for this collab will be sold for $20.

A few shots from the lookbook.

When I heard the news of the upcoming collection of polos that would be made, I was beyond excited and I immediately circled the date of May 20...release day. Well its here now, and I'm jacked about it. Perhaps its because I'm a little biased towards Mr. Bastian because hes been my favorite designer for the past 3 years or so. Or maybe its because I've developed a secret man-crush on him (don't tell my wife). But its probably because hes arguably been the top menswear designer for the past 5 years and doesn't look to be loosing any steam as he's been nominated again this year for CFDA menswear designer of the year. Hes a strong favorite although there's some tough competition with Thom Browne on the ballot with his plaid and whales presentation last summer.  

Some standouts in the collection.

And while I would love to scoop up all 16 polos in the collection, I doubt my wife would co-sign that decision. But please believe that come the end of the week, there will be at least 3 of these on my doorstep. Take advantage of these $20 polos wit the stamp of the current leader in menswear as they may not be around long. Check the video below for a quick interview from the man himself.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hyde Park Polo Spring Match 2013

Another Spring match is in the books. It was a very big turnout that actually surprised me considering it was Mother's Day. It just goes to show that the Charleston community is hungry for more polo. It's my hope that this will become a normal Sunday afternoon thing eventually. But for now, we'll have to settle for once or twice a year. Anyway, I was there to capture some of the stylish guys and gals. 

A glimpse of the action on the field.

Walking out for the traditional halftime divot stomp.


My wife and I. I didn't realize it when I picked out my outfit, but the majority of it was thrifted over time. Jeans, tie and blazer were a grand total of $15. Remember, style isn't about the price tags.

The even was sponsored by McDaniel's Audi once again this year.

Approaching the judging line for the hat competition.

All the hat competition participants waiting to be judged.

Winner of the best hat competition.

The bow tie competition contestants. The winner ended up being the guy second from the left.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Polo Match Style Primer

This coming Sunday is the annual Spring Invitational polo match in Ravenell, SC. While the sport of polo is known as the sport of kings, its also known for its ability to attract a ritzy crowd. But since the sport has recently been brought to the area after almost a 25 year hiatus due to Hurricane Hugo, its very understandable that the folks in the area may have some indecisiveness on what to wear. When I invite my friends to the matches in Aiken (one of the top polo communities in the world) the first thing they always ask is "What do I wear?" The second question is "How do they play it?" Check here for the answer to the second question. As for the answer to the first, just keep reading. I present to u my polo match style primer.

On a budget
Just because you're on a tight budget doesn't mean you can't still be stylish. The polo grounds is a great place to meet a potential wife. Its a family event so she'll probably be there with her folks. So you want to make a good impression on Dad. It's really not hard. Crisp polo shirt, well fitting chinos, and a pair of boat shoes that nearly everyone in the south owns, and your set. Now all you have to do is remember, firm handshake, and look em in the eye.

1-UNIQULO, 2-Forever21, 3-Sperry Top-Sider, 4-Old Navy

Horse lovers
So I totally understand there are people who could care less about the fashioney/social side of polo and they're just there to see some extremely athletic horses. Well I've got you guys covered too in a total unfashioney (read understated) way. If you actually work on a farm then most of this stuff you probably already have. Essentially it's just a good pair of 501's, boots, plaid shirt, and a sweet hat courtesy of Orvis to block out the sun.

1-Orvis, 2-Tanner Goods, 3-Polo Ralph Lauren,  4-Levis, 5- Clarks

Full prep
This one is kinda self explanatory. A navy blazer on top of bright colors, Bass Weejuns, and of course a bow tie in a go-to-hell reversible pattern courtesy of social primer.

1-Polo Ralph Lauren, 2- Tommy Hilfiger, 3- Levis, 4-Bass, 5-Social Primer, 6-Polo Ralph Lauren

I'm not really sure who the "hybrid" guy is but I will say that he relates the closest to me. Sort of like a combination of bits and pieces from different styles that you have made your own. If you haven't the slightest clue which direction to go then this will probably be your safest bet. This glen plaid blazer will go with anything so really you can mix and match any colors you want.

1-Levis, 2-JCrew, 3-JCrew, 4-Jcrew, 5-Bass, 6-Sid Mashburn

Wealthy Tycoon
There's a stigma on wealthy guys :they have horrible style. The reason they all use is "I'm my own boss so I don't care how I look" which is a terrible mentality in my opinion. Also, if your excited about growing your wealth, then one of the easiest ways is through networking and partnering with others. And let's face it, no one wants to work with a slob. You should look like what you're worth. People don't realize it but the polo grounds rival the golf links as one the best places for networking and deal making. Don't miss out on an opportunity because of how you look. Because honestly, many times people take you seriously based on what you have on more than what's in your bank account. First of all, start with an expertly tailored suit in the right shade of grey. Ice blue dress shirt topped with a classic Hermes tie. Nothing less than Gucci loafers on your feet will do. And in my opinion, the best way to hold your pants up is with an alligator belt from Mr Lauren.

1-Thomas Pink, 2-Paul Smith, 3-Paul Smith, 4-Gucci, 5- Ralph Lauren Purple Lable, 6-Hermes

When reviewing all of these looks, the most important thing to remember is that this post is intended for inspiration, not replication. If you wear something that doesn't fit your personality then its just a costume. And that totally goes against everything I believe. What will I be wearing? Well you'll just have to show up and find out.

So now that I've helped you get over the hurdle of figuring out what to wear, come on out and have a good time. You Won't regret it.

Gates open @ 11:00
Junior Match @ 1:00
Main Event @ 3:00
Tickets still for sale here or at the door.
Hyde Park Farm & Polo Club
6763 Davis Road
Ravenel, SC 29470

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Guess Who's Back

So remember the post I did roughly year ago about this awesome bakery that was closing down and fell into a deep gorge never to return? Well guess what, they have risen up like a Phoenix from the ashes. Ever So Sweet Bakery is back at a new location, with a new warm and cozy feel. And what looks to be a slightly extended menu.

About a month or so ago I saw them making posts on Facebook about them making a comeback. So I kept checking back for a grand reopening date and that special day was this past Wednesday. I was really happy to see them back in business, especially a few miles closer to my house. My family and I went to check in on them over the weekend to show some love. I got caught up with the staff to get some feelings on their first week back.

Our Selections:1-Chai Tea, 2-Cheddar Bacon Quiche, 3-Napoleon, 4-White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie, 5-Pound Cake w/ Cream Cheese Icing, 6-White Chocolate Cheesecake, 7-Pecan Sticky Bun

So for those asking what happened last year, what happened?

"Basically, the widening of Dorchester Road happened. We were aware ahead of time that it was going to take place, and took necessary precautions with our lease. We were worried that it would deter people from our area, and it definitely did. Along with that, our place was huge! And the cost that comes with that is a bit much. We wanted to find something smaller and cozy." 

How does it feel to be back?

"It feels wonderful! It's so great to see familiar faces, and to be back in the kitchen. I so missed baking all day. Even though we are all exhausted from a long week, it's so worth it. I love baking so much, and it's so rewarding to create things from scratch everyday, and see people enjoy them!" 

How long have you been baking and what keeps you turning on that oven every day (besides good ole electricity)?

"I have been baking since I was little. I never really though about it as a career, until I went to college. I was a graphic design major, and I had one class in the big main building. I took a wrong turn one day and passed the baking classrooms. I was amazed, and instantly fell in love with the idea of going to school for pastry. One week later, I changed my major, not being able to imagine sitting behind a computer for the rest of my life. I have loved every minute of the past 5 years." 

The new space is decorated beautifully, what was the thought or inspiration behind it?

"Thank you! I wanted to stay with our original colors, blue and brown, but I wanted to have the colors a little more mellow, and that's where the dusty blue and taupe came from. I wanted it to be cozy and inviting. I've always loved the idea of a bar, and we had great space for it at the end. We of course kept our amazing photos, taken by a good friend of mine, David Collins. And we love chalkboards. My mom is a wonderful artist and does all of my chalkboards. We love to keep people updated with what we're doing." 

You guys have an interesting location being on the same block as Publix. I have friends that go on and on about how awesome their bakery is. I say it's overrated. Express to my friends and anyone else that feels the same why they should support local businesses like yourself (besides almost always being more awesome than the big franchises).

"Well, as great as Publix is, (as being so fully staffed, and being able to put out everything that they do everyday) I must say that there is something different about baking everything on site. I worked at Publix for a few months and I confess I know most of their secrets when it comes to the bakery. I pride myself in baking fresh items as fast as my body will allow me. I love to have fresh items for my customers. Large corporate companies like that have to make things in large facilities off site, freeze them, and then transport them. Otherwise, they would probably have to triple their already large staff. Besides that, we have always supported small businesses. My father owns a small business, and my mother and sister just recently closed theirs. So coming from a family of entrepreneurs, it's in my blood. I love knowing that I'm supporting someone like me, who works hard, takes pride in their business, and needs my business to take home a paycheck and put dinner on the table for their family." 

Anything else you want to say to the community of sweets lovers out there?

"Come visit us! You'll never know until you try it! We make a mean cream cheese pound cake, and usually cannot bake them fast enough, haha. We would love people to come visit! We have wifi, so come bring your homework or paperwork, get something sweet, and hang out with us! We love seeing happy faces who love sweets, like you!! "

I was totally blown away when they told me that they used my post that they stumbled upon months after it was published as inspiration for a return. 

This is the inspiration board that they put together and they keep it posted in their kitchen. 
It's a family owned business that takes pride in what they do. According to their website, everything is made from scratch daily. With no preservatives, and unbleached flour. I'm pretty jacked up that these guys are back. My cheat days just got a little more exciting!!

1525 Old Trolley Rd Suite E
Summerville, SC 29483
Hours of Operation:
Tues-Fri 8am-6pm
Sat 8am-5pm
Sun & Mon CLOSED