State Optical Co. Wolcott Sunglasses


State Optical Co. has an ambitious vision for the Midwest. Starting with its Chicago-based eyewear factory, the brand hopes to turn Chicago and the surrounding area into a world class eyewear producing region. The hope is that other brands join State, followed by acetate and hinge manufacturers setting up shop close to the action. It’s a grand vision and one that bodes well for the Midwest should it happen.  Continue reading

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Best Made Co. Down Pilot’s Vest


The apparel catalogs are arriving at my door fast and furiously. Some are certainly better than others. The Best Made Co. catalog is one of those, with No. 13 transporting me to the foggy forested expanse of British Columbia. I hadn’t even made it ten pages in when my eyes were distracted from the Great Bear Rainforest by the Down Pilot’s Vest, a must have for this time of year. Continue reading

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Thorogood Dodgeville Boot


Add another name to the canon of Midwestern footwear makers. The irony is that Thorogood certainly isn’t new, it’s just new to me thanks to, no surprise here, Huckberry. The Wisconsin-based company made its first pair of shoes back in 1892 and is now celebrating its 125th year with a line of boots named after Wisconsin towns. The southwestern town of Dodgeville, population 4,693, gets a cap-toe boot made with Horween Chromexcel leather to call its own. Continue reading

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The Five Best on East Dane: Thankful For

The Five Best on East Dane

Every couple of weeks I’ll take a look at the five best things on East Dane at the time, each time choosing a different theme. East Dane is one of the best shops on the web for clothing and accessories, compiling a wide variety of brands in one place. If you have Amazon Prime you can often take advantage of free, fast shipping as the store is tied in with the retailer. Continue reading

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Saturday Sip Showdown: Pumpkin Beers, Part 2


“And most importantly I don’t have to waste my time on mediocre Midwestern pumpkin beers again, having narrowed down once and for all the select few worthy of drinking again.” Haha. Right. Like I could go a year without doing something as stupid as pitting more pumpkin beers together in a blind tasting. I’ll give myself credit that at least this year’s seven beers were mostly good, having weeded out the crap last year. But there were still several beers that didn’t make it into last year’s pumpkin beer showdown that required tasting this year. So here we go again. Continue reading

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Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket


Flint and Tinder may sound like a new dating app for outdoorsmen, but it’s actually an apparel brand available exclusively at Huckberry that is dedicated to partnering with the best garment makers in the US to jump start American manufacturing. That means hoodies that start as cotton in the Mississippi Delta and get finished in Los Angeles. That means moleskin shirts from third-generation, family-owned Texas factory. And that means a trucker jacket that spans from coast to coast. Continue reading

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Homage Welcome To Indiana Basketball Tee


The Hickory High uniforms the Pacers started wearing on select nights last year are my favorites in sports. Hoosiers is without a doubt the greatest sports movie, especially since Hinkle Fieldhouse makes an appearance. That the Pacers are honoring the movie by wearing replicas of the jerseys worn in the film is icing on the cake. And now Homage is in on the action, creating the Welcome to Indiana Basketball Tee. Continue reading

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Saturday Sip: 4 Hands Dakine Tropical IPA


“Da kine” is an expression in Hawaiian Pidgin that roughly translates to “whatsit” or “whatchamacallit” in English. It’s a placeholder for those times when the speaker can’t quite come up with the word he is looking for. For instance, “I talked on my ‘da kine'” equals “I talked on my ‘thing you use to talk to people'” equals “I talked on my phone.” Or in reference to beer, “The Brett in this beer is really giving off ‘da kine’ flavors” equals “The Brett in this beer is really giving off ‘something I can’t quite put my finger on’ flavors” equals “The Brett in this beer is really giving off ‘pineapple’ flavors.” See, I’ve always known that certain Brett strains can give off pineapple flavors but I had never actually equated the Brett pineapple flavor with what I was tasting until I tried Dakine, a tropical IPA (with no Brett) from 4 Hands. Continue reading

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The Cordial Churchman Blenheim


Bring on the cold. I’m ready to combat it with plenty of thick plaids and that includes what I’m wearing around my neck. The Blenheim Bow Tie from The Cordial Churchman will look just right around a crackling fire and just below a hot mug of cider pressed to your lips. Continue reading

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Bonobos Moleskin Pant


The November chill stills seems to be holding off for the most part. We’ve touched the low 60s the last few days and Friday temperatures are supposed to rise to nearly 70. But come this weekend we’re expected to be battered by a winter storm. On that note we need to start preparing for the long chill ahead and that means adding in a couple of thicker, heartier pairs of pants.  Continue reading

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