Thursday, May 20, 2010

I want a minivan

Actually, strike that. I don't actually want a minivan. I want a 1936 Stout Scarab. Somehow, I'd entirely missed the boat on information about this drool-worthy automobile, but was pointed to this older article in the NY Times about it.

Seriously, look at the thing...

1936 Stout Scarab

It looks like some sort of insane cross between a B 17 Flying Fortress and an Airstream trailer, both of which were in their formative state at the time the Scarab was constructed. Sadly, only 15 of them were ever made, and only 5 of them have survived to this day.

At least there are quite a few photos of them to drool over until some auto company decides they want to bring back the Scarab in an electric-powered version. Get on it, Tesla Motors! I implore you!


Scarab 2

Also! A video!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Overcast and oppressive

Today was one of those strange days where the sky was overcast, but the layer of clouds were thin enough that one still had to wear sunglasses. The temperature hovered in the upper 70s all day, but it actually felt much warmer because the humidity hung out at about 70% or more on front end of an impending storm.

I had a meeting a couple miles from my office and I didn't want to perspire too much on the bike ride there, so I decided to drop the tie and still try to keep some semblance of dress. I'd just found a fairly interesting unlined jacket ($2.50, on half-off day) a couple weeks previous that I'd been meaning to break out, so it was the perfect occasion.

jacket pattern

A lightweight wool (possibly a mix), the jacket has a light brown / grey / white check pattern with a hint of blue running through it.


An obligatory shot of the label. Pretty swank I think.

back again

Pardon my disheveled look, I had just pedaled 3 miles into a 25 mph head wind.

This last photo is somewhat blown-out, what with the weird, hot, overcast haze we had at mid-day, but it's somewhat representative of how it works with some khaki's.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vintage ties: Geometric and space age

One massive project should be largely on the books next week and things should return a bit more to normal around here for me. To keep some sort of new content going, though, let me present the third in a series of posts that feature some of my more interesting vintage ties (click here for hand-painted or here for the novelty numbers).

I haven't counted my tie collection lately, but I do know that it's almost completely out of control. I have a small rack with arms to hold 36 ties, and there are a minimum of 3 times on each arm, with more draped across the top and some rolled up on my dresser. It's madness, and I need to figure out some better storage, although color-scanning everything in one glance is still fairly easy.

At any rate, this is a group (and again, there are many more in this grouping, these are just my particular favorites) of geometric and / or space age inspired designs. At this point, it probably goes without saying that these were all thrift store or garage sale finds and the most that was paid for any individual tie was $4 (with most clocking it at $2 or less).

red white and blue

Although this one has a swirl damask, dark red and navy cubist shapes rule the day.

brown and blue

If I had to guess where my love of the blue/brown color pairing came from, it would probably trace back to azure spring skies and plowed fields ready for being planted. This tie brings them both together and looks great with a blue and white striped oxford and any number of configurations that go with it.

salmon scorpion

Flesh-colored ties are a hard egg to crack in terms of working them into a wardrobe and this is no different. Still, I can't deny my love for the design.

red and blue geometric

Bright red offset with some some blue and white swirls that flare with ribbon ends. Another odd combination in the design, but this one works with so many outfits.

Black and red diamonds with green tip

I lovingly refer to this one as my, "Old-school blackjack dealer tie" and I think the title fits. Crisp red and black diamonds in a larger diamond pattern with a dark green tip and diamond damask. Worn with caution.

dot pattern with swoops

This would probably be a fairly conservative tie without the two blue swoops, but they're also what give it a real dynamic feel. Another tie that goes with a lot of different combinations, this is one of the ties that led to me starting the collection I have now.

red blobby swoop

Found at the same time as the previous tie, this Eames-era esque design was sort of an early inspiration and still one of my favorites.

circles and lines

Super simple design that just works and works. The two circles with red just pop and the tie in general is a classic.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vintage ties: The novelty

Now that I've tweaked the blog to show bigger pictures in a much nicer way, I figured I might as well let loose with another tie post or two. Within this collection, I have an absolute boat-load of what one might call, "novelty" prints, and these are some of my favorites. There are a variety of print styles and fabric below, and I enjoy them all for different reasons.


Insanely detailed print of France with the Arc de Triomphe, a double decker bus, ladies with umbrellas, and probably a Citroen. :)


Actually a bit more on the subdued side. Juicy browns and reds with a nice windowpane print.

Boxes and leaves

If you can't tell by now, I have a lot of red ties. This is another one that's a bit on the loud side, but also works for fall just fine.

Beau Brummel

Featured in this post from awhile back. Shiny, shiny.

Brown with starbursts

Very cool pattern that makes for a flat-colored knot with a lot of design on the tails.


Professor: What's another name for a pirate's treasure?


This goes perfect with a cream-colored shirt on a spring day. Is it a feather or a leaf? The world may never know.

C is for cookie

I've seen a load of monogrammed shirts and ties in my day, but have never found another with the initial of my last name printed on the fabric. Of course I'm going to buy the damn thing.

More inspired posts soon, when my tornado of work slows to a mere dust storm.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Vintage ties: The hand-painted

I've mentioned in a couple previous posts that I've been collecting ties for several years now. Although I have plenty of more the more traditional types (diagonal stripe, dot, and etc), my first love was (and probably still is) for vintage ties of the 1940s through the 1960s or so. Because some of them are pretty cool, and because the only people who really get to see them are people I know in real life, I decided to start taking photos of them awhile back.

Without further ado, I'll start things off with the hand-painted part of the collection.

acetate hand painted

A fairly simple acetate number

dark green hand painted

Perfect for fall or spring. Dark green with faint metallic gold work

dark red hand painted

Red, yellow, blue, and white. How can you go wrong?

island hand painted

Island theme. Worn only when appropriate.

dark brown hand painted

Stunning colors. One of my favorite ties.

orchids on red

Orchids on eye-popping red.

red fall leaves

Perfect for a fall day when a dash of red is still necessary.

green hand painted

If one could have a lucky tie, this would be mine. I wore it on my wedding day and to the job interview of my current (and favorite ever) job.

In my particular neck of the woods, hand-painted ties are particularly hard to come across, so I hold a particular fondness for all of the above, despite some of them being rather brash. More than any other ties in my collection, they're also truly one of a kind.