Category Archives: Products

Bench-Made Boots

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Upgrade: Your Everyday Belt

There are arguably a few pieces in anyone’s wardrobe and accessory arsenal that get overlooked.  I’d say that that’s unavoidable and it often takes a lifetime to build a closet that has everything one might need.  I’m really a firm believer that there are a some items that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if that piece is one that is worn often or daily.  Glasses, watch, wedding ring, wallet, belt. You wear the thing(s) all the time, and you have to look at them everyday, so they better be nice, and they better last.

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Chromexcel®

Chromexcel.  One of my favorites, and probably my single favorite if I had to choose one.  The picture above gives some idea of how long the formula has been around (and this journal is full of different trials and doesn’t even contain the original, standardized recipe).  Whether because it’s right, or because we’re just terribly stubborn, we’ve left the processes and formulas for many of our leathers largely unchanged.  We have had to substitute some of the components that were traditionally used in small quantities – whale oil was replaced with another marine-creature derived oil, one that’s more available and not controversial.

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Cavalier Chromexcel

By request, an informative post regarding Chromexcel is forthcoming.  As a lead in, an introduction – Cavalier Chromexcel (and, yes, we make it in browns and black as well).  Check back in the coming weeks for a more comprehensive posting.  For comparison, the green loafer is our shell cordovan.

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Not So Plain (Toe Blucher)

We made a trip down to the Chicago Collective today – there was lots worth seeing (and plenty not worth seeing…).  We spent some time talking with Floyd, Barry, and Bob of Alden Shoe.

Alden PTB in Natural Chromexcel

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Restock – Makr Flap Wallet

We’ve received a restock of the Makr Flap Wallets in our Genuine Shell Cordovan.  These are available to ship next week, and only in very limited quantities.

Clockwise from the top right - Gunmetal, vintage brown, green, navy, ravello, and color #4.

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The Leather that has 3 Names

One of my favorite leathers, that sees relatively little production, is an article that we call Huntsmanor Waxed Flesh or French Waxed Calf.  I would define it as high performance suede, but it’s not suede at all.  This leather is made almost exactly the same way as our Chromexcel, instead we finish it on the flesh (or suede side).  This colors, waxes, seals, and lays the nap of the flesh flat.

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Upgrade: M & W Traveler

Sometimes you just have to see a product in person to do it justice.  I recently purchased a Laptop Briefcase from M&W Traveler, and this is an example of that scenario.  I’ve seen some pictures – both on their website and on some style forums – and the case definitely looks nice, but in person it’s really nice.  Rugged, refined, and really well built.  It’s big, almost too big for me, but only because I tend to fill up carry-on bags without fail.

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Upgrade: Gabarro Straps

I was in sore need of a new watchband recently, which is one of the reasons that I was glad to see Nick Gabarro.  I should say more glad than usual, we like Nick, and try not to appear too self-serving when possible…  Metal bracelets on watches, while arguably dressier for some, have never been a preference of mine.  They can be clunky, noisy, and potentially destructive to cuffs and keyboards alike.

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Upgrade: Wallets from Makr

From time to time we’ll put together an order of small leather goods.  For this latest round, we sent a a handful of leathers down to Jason at Makr.  I’ve been carrying the “flap wallet” for a while now, and I really like it – although it did take some getting used to.  It’s slim and secure and different, so let the Costanza wallet go.  We have a select few available for purchase, details can be found at the end of this post.

Shades of Makr

Counter-clockwise from the top left: Natural Essex, Brandy Shell, Dark Brown Shell, Color #4 Shell, Green Shell, Navy Shell, Black Shell, and Tan Chromexcel.

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