I’m sick of the snowboarding vs. skateboarding thing. It’s clear there are differences culturally between the two. I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a bunch of shit that bugs me about both. I’m really trying to be more positive lately though, and I’ll leave the super rants to Avran. In the mean time, I’m stoked to see that 686 Outerwear and Fallen have come up with a collaboration line. I’m really into the Classic Fit Jeans and the Field Jacket. It’s rad to see The Chief isn’t too narrow minded. Check out more over at TW Biz.
Alright here’s the deal. I wear button down shirts damn near every day. Why you may ask? For three reasons really. 1. Ever since I was a kid, it was just my style. I used to wear em open chest (top 3 buttons undone) because I thought I could pull off a Hosoi vibe. Yes I cut the sleeve off of a t-shirt to wear as a headband as well. No I never went to the spandex bike shorts though. Oh and Christ airs are difficult on 18″ jump ramps (for those of you under 25 a jump ramp is a “kicker to flat”). As my JimmyZ phase disappeared, I continued with the button down into a proper wannabe rude boy phase. I listened to far too much Desmond Dekker and Elvis Costello at the time, but I looked good doin it. Ben Sherman‘s were tough to find and expensive so usually a Mervyns imitation had to suffice. 2. They’re slimming. Until I get enough motivation to drop some ell bees (LBs) I will have to continue rockin these to cover up the old man boobs. 3. Grown-ass men wear button downs. Proper button downs.
First and foremost: The Altamont Wailer
This shirt is 100% cotton and 94% kick ass. It’s super comfortable, even though it’s a touch on the slim fit side. But not like “I’m gonna incredible hulk rip this bitch at any moment” slim fit. It’s pretty tall also which is huge for a guy my height. Not ghetto gown tall tee’ish though. The blue color and plaid pattern is simple and stylish. I love that the threading in each button is a different color, and that they left a few of the open seams unfinished (serged and done). It’s part of the Andrew Reynolds collection so it’s got to be solid. Don’t argue with The Boss’ Madness.
Overall I give this one: 4 1/2 monster frontside flips.
Second up is: The RVCA Rockwood
This button down is sick. RVCA is sick. It’s a great company that’s (I know I’ve seen random Tapout Turds wearing their Tees lately too but) run by a true visionary. PM Tenore is a smart guy, and he’s created a nice little empire for himself as well. RVCA is founded on an aesthetic based on classic American work wear. The Rockwood works. The fit is slim, but again not too bad. This shirt comes in 2 colors of plaid (raisin here). It seems to be put together pretty well as far as durability’s concerned. There’s a hidden zipper as well. Some are calling this a “shirt jacket” because of that, but I wouldn’t say it’s thick enough to be considered an actual jacket. Though it should definitely keep you warm after a spring session at Blacks.
Overall I give the Rockwood: 3 1/2 Al Knost foot drags
Finally the: WeSC Agnar
This is basically a dress shirt. Grown-ass men need these once in a while. WeSC is a great company based out of the Sweden. If people like Ray Barbee, Wieger van Wageningen, and Chris Pastras are backing them, then they must be doing something right. The Agnar is super stylish, regular fit, and cotton. What more could you ask for. You know reviewing a bunch of similar shit aint too easy, so let’s just leave it at that. It’s a good shirt blah blah it has 2 sleeves blah blah 2 pockets blah blah whatever. WeSC is killer and this shirt will make even me look good. Nuff said.
Overall I give the Agnar: 4 Ikea meatballs.
Edition 2: Shoes
Even though I only picked three to review, this is a post that could go on for days. Shoes are the most important part of your setup. I know for surfing and snowboarding shoes aren’t quite as big of a deal. However, in skating shoes are the most integral component outside of your quiver. When I was a grom “skate” shoes were Vans, Vision Street Wear high tops, Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, or just whatever shoe you happened to skate in. Shoes were (and to some degree still are) how you wore your badge as a skate rat when you weren’t pushing. If the new kid in school showed up in some Airwalks in 87′, the poser test was on. “You skate?” “How high can you ollie?” Eventually he would have to prove it. It used to be a rare thing that a shoe company would focus solely on skateboarding as a demographic. As you all know now, this shit is everywhere. Usually surf kids skated too, and would wear skate shoes. Eventually snowboard kids would rock em, and now the little fat douche down the street wears his signature DC Dyrdeks just to play Xbox and eat nachos. I do love nachos though….won’t hold that against him. Anyway, being a grown-ass man that still skates, I rock skate shoes. Grown-ass man skate shoes…
First and foremost: The Gravis Dylan
You knew this shit was coming right? I know I know we’ve all seen “Dylan” the movie. No doubt that the kid destroys it. Dylan Rieder absolutely rips. So what happens? A snowboard company that makes skate shoes gets Arto on board (I’m sure for a a fat sum), and then brings on the kid from Westminster. He gets clean, puts out an insane video part, and takes a huge risk on his signature shoe. Hence we have the “Dylan.” These are very close to grown-ass man shoes. Unfortunately they’re a little closer to college hipster shoes. I love that both Gravis and Dylan took a huge risk stylistically though. These look like slip on dress shoes (great for when you need to get formal), feel like slippers, and wear like skate shoes..sort of. Unless you were lucky enough to get 1 of the 240 limited pairs in oxblood, you’ll have to settle for black wrinkle or asphalt. The look is great. The style is a little too fixed gear for me, but certainly acceptable for most grown-ass men. These shoes are definitely comfortable also. My only real beef is skatability. Yes you can feel the board nicely and yes you feel light and sleek for sure. I like durability though. The leather holds up pretty well and I love that there’s no laces to rip and replace, but there seems to be almost no cushioning. Zero high tech anti heel bruise technology going on here. I’m not looking for bulky D3′s by any stretch, but I need a little more sustenance.
Over all I give em: 3 rare steak Pho Bowls.
photo courtesy of activerideshop.com
Second up: Lakai Belmont
Gotta love Lakai right? The Belmont’s are bad ass too. These come in black or brown leather. The vulcanized Belmont is crazy comfortable as well. I love the look. You can rock em damn near anywhere. These are almost the perfect grown-ass man shoes. If it’s good enough for Rick Howard it’s good enough for me. These shoes skate like a sonofabich also. The Belmont is sleek enough to feel what’s going on, and durable enough to take a decent beating. The leather’s tough and the rubber will hold fast like an old pirate. These aren’t full time skate shoes, but I’m definitely still a fan. Chill in em, skate in em, or play frisbee with narwhals in em.
Over all I give the Belmont: 4 stars.
photo courtesy of lakai.com
Finally the: Supra Skylow.
These kicks are sweeter than yoohoo. The Skylow is the Chad Muska Signature shoe. They’re an amazing all around grown-ass man shoe. They come in a few different colors (especially if you go for the Skylow 1.5). The look is skate casual for sure, but good for most occasions. They’re also vulcanized, with extra cushion in the heel, and the Skylow is pumped full of “Suprafoam”. Not sure what that is, but it sounds technical and awesome. These are basically super durable, high quality skate shoes, that don’t look stupid off board. My only slight drawback is if you have wide flintstone feet like me, they will be a touch snug. I’m sure The Muska rips roads, makes beats, and gets artsy in these bad boys. He’s got steez, not you. Throw on the Skylows and you might get some shine too.
Over all I give em: 4 finger rings and 2 Venice Boomboxes.
photo courtesy of sneakernews.com
Here’s the deal. I’m a grown-ass man. I wear gown-ass man clothes. Many of you are at an age where you can rock your hipster or hip hop or Dee Dee Ramone or Anti Hero ditrbag etc. style all you want. Not exactly my steez. Ok I may have some Julien Stranger road warrior in my game but for the most part…big boy threads. When you’re in high school or college, it’s a lot easier to pull off certain clothes and a certain look. I have always tried to rock a little Ray Barbee meets Rick Howard meets late 90′s Tahoe style but in a larger (huskier) cave man body. Clean and simple for the most part. All that bullshit being said, this is the start of my first series “grown-ass man clothes.” This will be one of seven editions where I break down some specific products that will help you look sharp without appearing to be a mall trolling turd. I know I know this isn’t the most technical review series, but those are on the horizon as well.
First and foremost: Volcom Chinos.
These are a must have. I know it’s hard to give up the Dickies, and really you don’t have to. But when it’s time to step the game up a bit these are a perfect choice. I like the Willie Pant Chinos in black (wish they had more than two colors in this one though). There are other Volcom chino options with more varieties of color, but these are the most fitted without approaching a nut hugging demise. They’re relatively durable, but I wouldn’t skate in them (I eat shit a lot). The legs are pretty straight and contemporary, and they sit well on top of my shoes (particularly if you stay away from the monstrous skate boots of old). A girl once told me that a key for men’s style is a good shoe-pant combination. I listen to women. Mostly. At any rate I say give em a shot. Try the Whether Slim fit if that’s the way you lean, or the Frickin Solid if you don’t want to rock the sidepipe.
Over all I give them 3 1/2 Dennis Busenitz’szzs.
Second up: Quiksilver Corduroy
Cords are timeless, and the Quiksilver Sequel Cord 2 pants are perfy. They’re super comfortable and stylish. I wear cords all the time. The only drawback for any corduroy pant I’ve come across is durability. I’ve ripped a few pairs skating and it’s not pretty. A rip that starts from a hipper can split quick and leave the groms seeing more than they bargained for. Wear em while eating tacos and whatnot, but stay away from the park in these. They are also a pretty straight fit but on the slim side. They list them as “Regular Fit” but again I’d say these cords run a bit snug. There’s a few different colors (smoke is my pick) available and they make lots of noise when you walk. Okay maybe two drawbacks, you can’t sneak up on people in them due to the noise.
Overall I give them 3 Travis Rice’szzs.
Finally Elwood Denim.
The Dan Drehobl signature series Dan Jean is super nice. I like the Dry color, but there’s others available. These are straight fit and sit comfortably fresh out the box . Skate in them drink in them or be like Corpsey and smoke copious amounts of American Spirits in them. My guess is they look really good in between a five 0 pivot to fakie as well. They’re easy to move in and super durable so schralp it up.
Overall I give em 4 Trife Coozie’ssz.
photo courtesy of diabolicalboardshop.com