The Pursuits

You're growing up. It's time to dress like it.

A lesson in avoiding the anxious mind of an amateur cyclist

joetoprocycling:

"You are never behind. You are simply where you are, making the progress you can, with the commitment you have for that day."

More good writing from Tony that applies to both cycling and life. If you need a regular kick in the ass to go out and ride, or just buck up and do something in your life, you need to be reading this guy’s writing.

Mental Outlook is Everything

tonysteward:

The hardest work is completely free and its allowing yourself the freedom to let something difficult and challenging be entirely possible.

This.

A great post not just about cycling but about life. Damn good stuff.

Bruce

The Basics - T-Shirts

In addition to the OCBD that we covered last week, the other shirt that we recommend you build your closet around is the venerable t-shirt. But this isn’t the t-shirt you wore every day in college, emblazoned with your favorite sports team or some cheeky slogan that was never really funny. No, this is a t-shirt for grown ups, which you are now, or want to be, right? Nod your head yes, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to at least look a bit more grown up.

The t-shirt is most commonly worn in a casual setting – with jeans or shorts and sneakers. But believe it or not, the right t-shirt can be dressed up with a blazer, some dark denim, and a good pair of brogues. But, to pull of that bit of sartorial boldness, you have to have the right fitting t-shirt.

Gone are the days of the “Tall Tee” and there never really should have been a time or place for the deep-v – no one, absolutely no one wants to see man cleavage – but that does not leave you without options. Basic crew necks, v-necks, or front pocket shirts are good places to start. A t-shirt that fits well will not be a box with sleeves, nor will it hug every inch of your body showing off your impressive pecs. (You do have impressive pecs right? No? Me either).

When building your t-shirt arsenal, it is best to start with some neutrals: grey, black, or navy. Maybe add in an accent color that you like, a forest green or deep red, nothing too crazy.

They be like, “Oh, that Gucci - that’s hella tight.”

I’m like, “Yo - that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt.”

Like Macklemore implies in “Thrift Shop,” spending crazy amounts of money for a simple t-shirt is foolish. It is best to keep your foundational, basic t-shirts as logo free as you can. No one really needs to know that your shirt is Polo, they probably don’t even really care (just sayin’).

Instead of caring about the brand name logo on my shirt, I care more about having a shirt that will last me a long time. These shirts after all are part of your foundation, and will be getting a lot of wear. A few years ago the price of cotton increased significantly and ever since it seems that t-shirts and other cotton goods have gotten thinner and thinner. I look for shirts that I can’t see through and that feel sturdy enough to go through the washing machine for a year or two without fail. Surprise, surprise, I get most of my t-shirts from the Canvas line at Lands’ End. I also get shirts from Gap, but they can be a bit hit or miss on thickness and quality. Brennan gets his from Everlane. Neither of us spend more than $20 for a single shirt, and with some patience and occasional checking of sales, you can usually get shirts for around $10 - $15 each.

Something as simple as upgrading your t-shirts is a great way to start looking more grown up and show the world that you Give a Damn.

Drop us an Ask up top if you’ve got questions.

B

Now there are obviously a lot of different brands out there and everyone develops their own preferences. Bruce said some of his and threw a couple of brands I have been digging lately. At some point we will do some specific reviews of products and brands offering more insight.

Another great brand is [Farm Tactics](https://www.facebook.com/FarmTactics). They are available through some online sellers like [Need Supply](http://needsupply.com/mens/brands/farm-tactics)

If you have opinions or thoughts on the brands mentioned let us know. OR if you have any brands you think we should highlight or mention let us know. We like feedback and new brands!

bam

The Basics - OCBDs

Over the coming weeks we will be going over the basics that we listed in the previous post, working our way from top to bottom. We start then, with the venerable Oxford Cloth Button Down, henceforth the OCBD. Brennan and I recommend having at least two in your closet, one white and one blue, but ideally you will end up with two or more of each of these, as they will be some of the most often worn shirts in your wardrobe.

The OCBD is an incredibly versatile shirt, with its button down collars that can be worn alone, easily dressed up (with a pair of slacks and a blazer and tie, or sweater), or just as easily dressed down (with your favorite pair of jeans and your favorite pair of Chucks).

Oxford Cloth is a sturdy but comfortable material that wears well and will last a long time. It can handle being washed in the washing machine — on delicate – if you don’t have the budget for dry cleaning. Washing and ironing them yourself will take some extra time, but the money you save can be put toward other things, like beer or more clothes.

The best place to start you OCBD color palette is with a medium to light blue shirt and a white shirt. These can be paired with almost anything in your closet, and you will never have to worry about them going out of style.

The most important thing to think about when picking out your OCBD’s is how it fits. You can pay far less for a shirt that fits you well and it will not look “cheap.” OCBDs are a great place to maximize your budget, but making sure that you’re able to move easily, or vice versa, not swimming in an oxford cloth sail is key.

Off the rack (OTR) shirts are going to be sized one of two ways. First is the standard S, M, L, etc. scale, which can be hit or miss. I tend to need a “schmedium,” but sadly those don’t exist. I opt to get my OCBDs sized based on two measurements, neck and sleeve. If you go to most major retailers and look at their “dress shirts” you will see a combination of numbers on the tag, for example, 15 x 34. Those numbers correspond to your neck and sleeve measurement. Finding those numbers is simple. First, you can ask your tailor to help you measure them. Or, you can take a soft measuring tape and measure around your neck at the widest point and add a half-inch to the total, and measure from your shoulder blades down to your wrist with your arm bent at an angle as though you were reaching into your pocket. Commit those numbers to memory, they will come in handy more than you think.

Companies now tend to make several different cuts of shirts, from the more full bodied “traditional” or “classic” cuts to the skinnier “slim” or “tailored” cuts. What cut you buy is less about the name of it and more about how it fits you. Remember you don’t want it to be skin-tight, nor do you want it to turn you into an oxford cloth kite.

For me, the OCBD has become part of my “uniform.” I wear one to work almost every day of the week, and it’s usually the shirt I throw on during the weekend if I’m leaving the house. I tend to get mine from Lands’ End because they wear well, last forever, and I don’t think I’ve ever paid more that $50 for a shirt. If you sign up for their emails you can usually get a coupon or a heads up when things go on sale. I’ve gotten OCBD’s for as little as $15. J. Crew’s shirting is well made but its sizing is based on the S,M,L scale, so you may want to try them on before you pick one up from their website. Brennan gets his shirts from companies like Stock Mfg Co and Everlane

Let us know if you have any questions about OCBDs or anything else menswear related, we will be happy to help.

B

Now Bruce has made it clear how we feel about the OCBD. Everyone should own some. They are comfortable and practical. Now if you have not been able to tell I don’t wear a tie to work or dress attire. I wear work wear and try to balance between heavy duty and practical. My WIWT posts should provide some good examples of what I mean.

If you have questions or thoughts, as always, let us know.

bam

An Introduction to the Basics

Maybe you just got your first “real world” job, maybe you’re in graduate school, or maybe you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to look nicer. Whatever the reason, it’s time to trade in the college “uniform” of sweat pants, jeans, t-shirts, and hoodies for something that suits your age. This is not a definitive list, but despite our very different jobs, Brennan and I both agree that this set of basics is essential to any man’s closet. That said, we will also be doing a post highlighting some more “blue collar” options.

The basics in the list below were chose because they are both stylish and will remain so for years to come, and are versatile enough for you to build your entire closet around. Here’s the list.

  • White OCBD
  • Blue OCBD
  • T-shirt with no logo
  • Navy, red, or sweater
  • Navy blazer
  • Dark Blue Denim Jean
  • Khaki Chinos
  • Grey trousers
  • Brown shoes
  • Casual sneakers
  • Accessories
    • Reversible belt
    • Socks - something fun
    • Watch
    • Wallet

Over the coming weeks, we will explain why we chose these items, how to wear them together and with other things, and where you can buy some of our favorites.

bigdamncalligraphy:

thepursuits replied to your photo “Playing around with a Noodler’s flexible nib fountain pen…”
Which Noodler’s pen do you have? My Ahab is fun to play with but the flex is hit or miss.
It’s an ahab as well, and yeah it’s a bit hit or miss, too.  Slow is definitely the way to go with it, and you have to watch your paper/ink combo with it.  That was Dragon’s Napalm, it did okay with it, though ink flow was sketchy.  Noodler’s Blue, it’s done pretty good with so far (haven’t spent much time with it).  DeAtramentis Edgar Alan Poe… it feathered on practically every kind of paper I have and wouldn’t flow consistently.  
But all of ‘em… I definitely can’t just take off writing with them.  I have to go at about the same pace I do 1.5 mm-nib calligraphy with.  (Which is much slower for me than 2.4mm and above stuff if I want it remotely crisp.)

I have had the same problem with all of the inks that I’ve tried. Despite the fact that my Noodler’s inks are lubricated enough to make a mess of the feed and get ink all over the cap, starting with the Ahab is never smooth and it will railroad very easily. I want to be expressive with a flex pen, but like you, I end up having to go too slowly. I just got a Pilot Resin Falcon with Soft Extra-Fine nib yesterday, and it is the exact opposite of my Ahab. It is gloriously smooth and flexes far more easily. I’m still getting used to it but my instagram @brucelayman will have some practice with it soon. I love looking at your work, keep it up!

bigdamncalligraphy:

thepursuits replied to your photo “Playing around with a Noodler’s flexible nib fountain pen…”

Which Noodler’s pen do you have? My Ahab is fun to play with but the flex is hit or miss.

It’s an ahab as well, and yeah it’s a bit hit or miss, too.  Slow is definitely the way to go with it, and you have to watch your paper/ink combo with it.  That was Dragon’s Napalm, it did okay with it, though ink flow was sketchy.  Noodler’s Blue, it’s done pretty good with so far (haven’t spent much time with it).  DeAtramentis Edgar Alan Poe… it feathered on practically every kind of paper I have and wouldn’t flow consistently.  

But all of ‘em… I definitely can’t just take off writing with them.  I have to go at about the same pace I do 1.5 mm-nib calligraphy with.  (Which is much slower for me than 2.4mm and above stuff if I want it remotely crisp.)

I have had the same problem with all of the inks that I’ve tried. Despite the fact that my Noodler’s inks are lubricated enough to make a mess of the feed and get ink all over the cap, starting with the Ahab is never smooth and it will railroad very easily. I want to be expressive with a flex pen, but like you, I end up having to go too slowly.

I just got a Pilot Resin Falcon with Soft Extra-Fine nib yesterday, and it is the exact opposite of my Ahab. It is gloriously smooth and flexes far more easily. I’m still getting used to it but my instagram @brucelayman will have some practice with it soon.

I love looking at your work, keep it up!

Friday was the first day in the 40’s for a while in OKC. Fall layers came back out and I got to try out my new Alden’s of New England Indy 403 boots. Once I break them in I’ll be doing a review, but after one day in them, I will tell you they are incredible.

Shawl collar sweatshirt - Gap.
Barn Coat - L.L. Bean
Selvedge Denim - Gap