I was trying to think of a Top 10 that kind of rounded out the year, but honestly…I couldn’t really think of any one new item that took the top spots for 2009. These 10 selections are top of my year and mainly every year before and after. Some are true classics and some are new takes on the ones we grew up on. Either way, get used to ’em!
1. Florsheim Imperial Longwings
People often ask about what are the best “dress shoes.” Whether it’s captoes, wingtips, longwings, goodyear welt, etc etc. Florsheim has always held the candle. Companies will come and go from Italian, English, and American. However, if you want my opinion…go with Florsheim. They did it first, they still do it better.
2. Bookster Tweed Jacket
Tweed, like wool, is a fabric that is timeless. It’s been a staple in men’s closets since mills existed. If you’re going to head down the Tweed road, try the originals. English and Scottish mills will always do the best job. Bookster will custom do a tweed jacket, vest, shooting jacket, or suit. On top of that, they’ll make a hat to match if you actually end up in the country with your hound and double barrell.
3. Pointer Brand Duck Chore Coat
Pointer Brand is from Tennessee. I’m from Tennessee. Maybe that’s why I’m such a fan, but save all that hometown loyalty…they’re one of the very few, real work wear companies churning out affordable garments year after year. The popularity from them being featured in new, cool stores all the way to Japan hasn’t gone to their heads. That’s classic.
4. Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot
If there was any footwear company that really came out swinging this year, it has to be Wolverine. Most have heard of the brand, or passed by it in the real workboot section. Having a classic profile, similar to the Alden Indy Boot, it comes off really sleek but still tough in the sense that they’ve always done their boots.
5. Johnson Woolen Mills Wool Mountain Parka
Johnson Woolen Mills is a homebred wool company in the vein of Bedmidji, L.L. Bean, and Woolrich. Like most of the other woolen mills companies, they have included a separate line exclusive to designers as well as the European and Japanese markets. Here’s a selection from the Japanese collection which is so nice it hurts!
6. Billy Kirk Carry-All
A durable, affordable tool carry-all bag is one of those things that can be very hard to find. I love leather goods, but I’ve always had a weakness for canvas and one that’s waxed puts it that much further on my list. Chris and Kirk of Billy Kirk pride themselves on a family run American company, and from their bags to their leather goods…it shows time and time again.
7. Filson Waxed Hunting Coat
Besides being one of America’s first major outerwear company for the Northwest, Filson crafts probably the best waxed tin cloth jackets I’ve ever worn. If you want a substitute for the gross goretex clones out there, check out the low stock of Filson’s hunting coats at Sierra Trading Post. Rumors of moving most production overseas has a great sale going on so jump on it while it’s hot.
8. Lee Storm Rider
Denim jackets are kind of a love/hate thing with me. It’s a fine line between the perfect denim jacket and an absolute disaster. It takes a lot of finesse to pull one off right. There’s a lot of options between Lee, Levi’s, Wrangler, etc. The Storm Rider has always killed the rest in my mind. The barn coat collar, with the blanket lined interior to top off the classic exterior…doesn’t get much better or easier.
9. Tricker’s Longtip Boots
Tricker’s is a company that will cause a wet dream of sorts. Florsheim being first on the list as one of the more accessible, classic, and affordable. I figured I’d add one on the other side of that spectrum. Besides being a bit harder to find and costing quite a penny, they’re one of the finest brogues you will ever grace your feet with. They normally stick to classic brogues, but the brogue boots are really devilish!
10. The Hill-Side Handkerchief
Handkerchiefs in all forms are an absolute must. Whether it’s a pristine pocket square or a ripped up, oil stained bandanna, they serve a multitude of uses. These from The Hill-Side are not only the ever durable Chambray, but look great with just about anything. These guys also do great ties for those in the market for accessories. Made in New York and Connecticut…supporting local goods goes a long way.
Authored by Drinkin & Dronin
DR&DR is an average gent that enjoys the day to day grind, and occasionally shares it. A blog for today’s sportsmen, gentlemen, globetrotters, and scoundrels alike. A blog that promotes dancing, smoking, drinking, reading, hiking, fishing, shooting, and riding without inhibition like our great grandfathers before us.