Denim Terminology 101

thumb_IMG_5660_1024I know what you’re thinking. I’ve been there too, and not all that long ago. You’re looking to pick up some new denim, but you’re not really sure what the hell all these guys are talking about. Well allow me to step in and give you a hand.

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Review: 2120 Handcrafted Footwear Detroit Natural Leather Boots

IMG_2818If you’ve seen my Instagram feed lately, you’ve definitely seen my 2120 Handcrafted Footwear Detroit Natural Leather Boots. These babies are guaranteed to catch the eye (Ed. Note: no such guarantee exists)!

The Detroit boot comes in three colors: black, cognac (brown) and natural. I went with the natural because, as any good leather lover knows, these boots will develop a ridiculously nice patina over time. If you want to see what I’m talking about, head on over to their Instagram feed. I already get a ton of compliments on them, so if you’re looking for something to help you stand out from the crowd a bit, these babies will do the trick!

Now we all know that these boots are eye-catching and beautiful, but that’s not all that matters, right?? Well, fear not, because the boots are as well-constructed as they are gorgeous. Like most new boots, they’re a little stiff at first and require some break-in time. But over the course of a few days, I’ve found that the footbed has molded to my feet and they’re extremely comfortable boots that I can wear with ease for an entire day.

For those of you with half-sizes, like me, order up and they’ll include an insert that will ensure that everything fits perfectly.

And if you don’t need any new boots (LIAR!), then they’ve also got some killer derbies, loafers, high top sneakers and chelsea boots. Take a look at the boot pics on my feed, give them a look on the 2120 website and make sure you follow both of us on Instagram!

P.S. I’m on Snapchat now too: theamateurpro

Review: Aunts & Uncles Finn Bag

Everyone needs a good bag. I don’t care who you are, you should have at least one bag that you can grab, that will work with any outfit and will look damn good. And I think I just found mine. Say hello to Finn from Aunts & Uncles!

Now it wasn’t easy choosing Finn, Aunts & Uncles makes a lot of really amazing bags (check out the Fella too!), but I really loved the rugged look of Finn, with those thick straps and large flap. If you pick one up, I’m sure you’ll get as many compliments as I did on the looks!

Their site will surely give you better details that I can provide, but Finn is made of buffalo leather, with a gorgeous plaid lining inside. It’s large enough to hold a 15 inch laptop (one of my requirements) with a laptop section, as well as another large compartment, plus a number of pockets inside and out. In short, you’re not going to run out of places to put things!

Today was my first of many days with Finn, and I already know we’re going to get along wonderfully. It easily fit everything that I needed and was comfortable to carry with either the strap sitting on my shoulder or across my body.

Quite possibly the best part about Finn, like anything made out of quality leather, will be how it ages over time. I can’t wait to see how Finn looks in a year or 5 years down the line, and rest assured I will continue to keep you updated!

Review: Wolverine Copeland Boots

Now seems as good a time as any to talk about my Wolverine Copeland boots. If you’ve spent any time at all on my Instagram feed, you’ll know I love them. I have two pair, black and brown. They’re extremely comfortable, durable and versatile. I’ve worn them to the office, to parties, to do yard work, to shovel snow and everything in between.

And obviously, they look amazing. The red tongue is just enough to stand out, without going overboard. The coloring for each boot goes so well with everything. I wear them all the time with jeans, khakis and chinos.

If you’re looking for a good pair of all-around boots, that will still stand out a bit, pick up a pair of these.

Picking Out Good Shoes

I’ve come to appreciate good shoes and boots, especially these beauties from Grant Stone. I’ve been asked a bunch of times about how to pick out shoes. So here’s my advice…

Even if you’re not planning to buy in a store, you should find a nice one that has a good selection of high end shoes. Try them on, see what style feels best and, for the love of God, get measured. Make sure you wear pants that you plan to wear with these shoes, so you can get an idea of how they’ll look. And try on a bunch if different styles. I’ve learned that I prefer a more rounded toe in my shoes, because they’ll look amazing with jeans, chinos or a suit.

Once you know what you like, the rest is easy. Do some research on brands. Buy as well as you can, even if it means shopping sales. Those $90 shoes won’t last and then you’ll just drop another $90 son enough. I learned that lesson the hard way (over and over). You’re better off buying a good pair of goodyear welted shoes or boots because if you take care of them they’ll last forever and you can have them resoled as needed.

Looking Like a Million Bucks on a Budget

Man oh man do I love thrift stores… I picked up this killer brown blazer yesterday for a song. It may take some patience but you surely don’t have to pay thousands to look like a million bucks….

Oh My Coffee…

Like most people I start off my day with a cup (or 4) of coffee. Not because I necessarily need the caffeine (though that helps), but because I love coffee. A lot. Which means I’m also very picky about my coffee. None of that Folgers swill for me. And get your weak-ass office coffee out of here… I like mine fresh ground and strong. Preferably made in a French press or pour-over coffee maker. And black. Always black.

Maybe you’re rolling your eyes at me, but maybe that’s because you’ve never had really good coffee. You should try it sometime. Go to a small roaster, but a French press off Amazon, get a grinder while you’re at it… Then grind your beans in the morning, heat up some water (not too hot) and brew a nice French press. Good, huh? You’re welcome…

My Feelings on Slip-On Shoes

Up until now I’ve just shared pictures and made a few small statements… I haven’t said anything controversial. And I’m not sure if what I’m about to say is controversial or not, but her we go… I hate slip on shoes. I know a lot of people like them and all of the top shoe companies make them. I’m sure there are lots of people out there who swear by them. I just can’t stand them. I hate the way they look. They don’t look like “real” shoes. Ok, end rant 😐

Bow tie Week

Bow ties for days! No, literally! In my own little tribute to the accessory that started me down this path, I’ve decided that I’m going to make this #bowtieweek. Join me, why don’t you?

No excuses about not being able to pull it off or not knowing how to tie it. Anyone can pull off a bow tie and that’s what YouTube is for. So put on a bow tie and be cool 😎

Review: New Shoes from Grant Stone

Really loving these Grant Stone longwings that I just got. I highly recommend you head over to their site and Instagram feed!

When I first opened the box, I was blown away by the quality of everything inside. For the record, the shoes came with a second set of laces and a storage bag.

They’re a little stiff at first (as would be expected) but they’ll loosen up after a few wears. Even with the slight stiffness, they were very, very comfortable. And of course, they look great too! I got a ton of compliments, just around the office. Can’t wait to rock these again tomorrow!