The Latest: Sunday 25 January 2015

Thursday Boot Company | Buy

Founded in 2014, New York-based Thursday Boot Company is mixing up the bootmaking formula with classic styles that bridge casual and dressy, with a prominently stitched sole on clean-lined cap, plain and moc toes. For the initial collection they're keeping it simple with three styles, two lasts and a handful of finishes. All the boots have glove leather lining, Goodyear-welted construction and are made in Mexico. Currently available styles go for a very competitive $200.
19.jan.2015 style
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Berluti S/S 2015

The coldest depth of winter seems an ideal time to roll out Berluti's Spring/Summer Look Book. Not just for the luxury-porn escapism to an exotic warmer place where people have $800 to drop on cotton chinos, but also because we've been hearing for some time that coloured leather and suede were coming down the line and now we have the first great sightings of it. Other welcome highlights include the pairing of tan and aubergine that made such an impression last year and some clever summery deployment of traditionally fall colours like olive and rust.
12.jan.2015 style
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Well played, sir...

Shouts out to Jesse Mariĉić for his pitch-perfect send-up of the classic douchey wannabe model blogger. He hits just about every detail: harder-than-thou scowl, too-tight and too-long jacket sleeves that stack awkwardly, improperly hemmed trousers, cigar, contrasting club collar, pocket square explosion, buttoning error, Pop Of Colour Footwear, and a watch that Flavor Flav would be proud to wear on his chest. Hilariously well done.
05.jan.2015 culture style
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The Unrefinery Award for 2014: Narendra Modi

It's rare to see a fresh new influence successfully brought into traditional menswear, and rarer still to see it executed so brilliantly and effortlessly, but in developing his personal style India's prime minister Narendra Modi has fused traditional Indian clothes with the materials and tailoring cues of classic menswear while incorporating the best elements of each. Somehow it all looks natural, setting off British tweed with riotiosly colourful Indian silk, and the aesthetic scales from formal to casual. If his wardrobe projects a message, it is that India can have all the best that the world offers without sacrificing any of its heritage and identity in the process. And that's a pretty good message for a head of state to send.
29.dec.2014 style
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Menswear compliments to avoid | Fail

There's nothing here that Unrefinery readers don't already know, but maybe we can all help spread the word to the rest of humanity: don't use these terms when attempting to compliment a well-dressed or attractive man. In practical use they have implications that you probably don't realize. Here's a handy reference guide.
22.dec.2014 culture style
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But can it shoot around corners?

Reasonable people may disagree on the necessity of carrying a handgun, but from a strictly functional standpoint there's been very little progress in the design of these things since their invention. This makes the Taurus 180 Curve unique with its clean-sheet rethinking of the concealed carry segment. The weapon was built for purpose, including a very compact size (just over 5" long), a curved frame that sits comfortably against the body, a belt clip that eliminates the need for a holster, and builds in the flashlight and targeting laser that would otherwise be bulky tactical add-ons.

From an aesthetic standpoint it looks kind of cool in a high-tech sort of way, although it clearly won't win you any sartorial street cred when put up against James Bond's Walther PPK or Antonio Banderas' Ruger P90 in Desperado. Its appearance may actually have a practical downside as well, if what appears to be a heavy-duty stapler is regarded as less of a deterrent than Dirty Harry's 44.

Points awarded to Taurus for an innovative design. The only thing stopping it from getting a BUY rating is that Taurus supports the NRA, and f*ck those jerks in particular.
18.dec.2014 design tech
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Florentino A/W 2014-2015

A lot of neat things happen at that point where traditional mens clothing is just slightly bent towards casual streetwear. (A lot of terrible things happen there too, but let's stay positive.) The new Autumn/Winter book from Spanish label Florentino does a lot of nice things with tonal textures, warm greyscales and layering, with every look featuring at least one unexpected element—trousers in ochre or green, casual ankle boots, a shawl pullover as an inner layer. A nice starting point for winter style inspiration.
15.dec.2014 style
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When not to use a novelty font | Fail

The societal scourge that is the killing of unarmed black men by white cops, and our horrifying inability to bring the perpetrators to justice, may be the most important civil rights issue of our time. And we're going to applaud James, Rose and the others who take up the message.

But for God's sake say it in a typeface other than Comic Sans. The subject matter deserves better.
09.dec.2014 culture
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Beard oils. For men. With beards. | Buy

The Guardian warned us months ago that we may have reached "peak beard", but if that just means it falls out of hipster favour it's all the more acceptable to those of us who bathe and read books. It doesn't take long before whiskers reach the point where they could be a little softer and more pliable to a bit of taming, and a few drops of beard oil does just that without greasiness. While this sort of product is available in a variety of scents, it seems appropriate to go with something quietly masculine. A couple of favourites:

Beardbrand Four Vices [$30] combines tobacco, coffee, hemp and hops, and you can discern all four of the key notes in the earthy end result.

Tom Ford Oud Wood [$50] is woody, spicy, and due to its subtle smokiness maybe hints at sour mash whiskey. Good for the lounge lizard who is a part-time lumberjack.

Unlike body fragrances which are applied by the spritz for the benefit of all in your vicinity, you're the primary audience for beard oil. You're going to smell it off and on all day; choose carefully.
01.dec.2014 culture style
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Mailbag: Wearing a scarf with a hoodie

An anonymous reader asks, "Can I wear a scarf with a hoodie?" Answer: Totally. This combines two previous Unrefinery directives regarding hoodies that don't suck and the wearing of undersized scarves: you need just enough scarf to keep your neck warm but not enough to add bulk when tucked in. The result can be both practical and an aesthetically pleasing shoulder/neck silhouette that frames your face. Hopefully it goes without saying that you shouldn't even think of wearing the scarf outside the hoodie.
24.nov.2014 mail style
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