Bastion Woobie

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My favorite purchase in all of 2022 was probably my Bastion Woobie from Triple Aught Design. Essentially, it’s a remix of the old military wobbie utilizing better materials and the craftsmanship that TAD is known for.

My wife hates the damned thing, but it’s sooo cozy and sooo warm that frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. I now own three of them.

Oh… but they are back in stock and won’t be for long, so if you have a hankering… get to it.

Details here.

Relwen Rib-Pile

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I spend a stupid amount of time thinking about warmth when it’s cold outside. I detest the cold… And one of my favorite ways to stay warm is the Rib-Pile material that Relwen uses on a number of different items. It’s sort of like your typical waffle under layer, but it’s thicker and more substantial. Also, it has some stretch to it… but, more importantly, it has a good memory and never stretches past the point of no return.

Highly recommended.

Details here.

The Workhorse Vest

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When working in the shop, I don’t like to wear a coat as my arms feel too restricted and puffy and in the way and… It’s bullshit. So, I prefer a vest. Only thing is, most vests are made for hiking or some other light duty application and end up getting torn up way too quickly.

Solution? This Workhorse vest from Taylor Stitch. I’ve had mine for two years now and it still looks new. Pretty damned warm too…

Details.

My Favorite Sweatshirts

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When “winter” hits Austin, I skip the jackets and coats and go directly for my sweatshirts. I’m just a sweat guy… always have been. And, as a result, I know a thing or two about sweatshirts. These are my three favorites:

  1. American Giant Classic Full Zip. These aren’t quite as good as they were five years ago, but they are still the best in the world. Nothing else comes close. They are very warm… and they last FOREVER… even in my shop environment. Even at $138, they are an absolute bargain.
  2. The Todd Snyder X Champion Hoodie. These aren’t as durable as the AG hoodies and they certainly aren’t made as well. BUT, what they don’t have in durability they make for in absolute softness. These are the most comfortable sweatshirts I’ve found. Interestingly, these are also priced at $138.
  3. The Champion Reverse Weave Hoodie. They aren’t as durable as the AG or as soft as the Todd Snyder Collaboration, but they are only $65… and they aren’t bad. I’d say they are the best value on the list… but I regularly wear an American Giant hoodie that is seven years old, so…

Best T-Shirts

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For years, I relied on American Giant T-shirts as daily wear. A few years back, however, American Giant changed their premium line of tees and in my opinion, quality suffered. Since then, I feel like quality has only continued to roll down hill and I’ve decided to check out the market once again. Here’s what I’ve found:

  1. J.Crew Garment dyed Slub Cotton Tees. On sale these can be found for as little as $20 and because of this, these have become my goto tees. The regular fit is true to size, but they are also available in both slim and tall and in a large variety of colors. Unfortunately, they are not made in the USA… BUT, the quality is on par with American Giant and the fit is much better. As a value proposition, these are hard to beat right now.
  2. Todd Snyder Homespun Slub Pocket T. These are very similar to the J.Crew tees, but they are made in the USA. Unfortunately, however, they are priced at damn near $80 each. I just couldn’t justify that…
  3. 45 Slub Pocket Tee. The Huckberry house brand… Made well in Peru. These fit great and feel fantastic, but the collar gets a little weird (wrinkles) in the wash. If you can live with that though, these are a pretty good value at $35 each. I would have considered these as a top pick if only they were available in more colors.
  4. Everlane Premium Crew. These were recommended by just about everyone in the game. They are obviously made well (Viet Nam), but they don’t feel great. I would compare these in fit and finish to a nice Gildan. To me, the value just isn’t there.
  5. Buck Mason Slub Tee. This shirt is most consistently on everyone’s favorite list, but it’s not on mine… They are made in the USA, fit well, and cost an almost reasonable $38. However, after one wash the collar shiners and wrinkles and the tee becomes unwearable for me.

At the end of the day, none of these tees are as good as the original American Giant tee… which is a damned shame. I think my favorite of the bunch tested right now is the tee offered by Todd Snyder. However, the $80 price removes it as an EDC option. The J.Crew shirt doesn’t seem quite as well made, but it’s close… and costs $60 less per unit. So, that’s what I’ve been going with this year.

I wear a tee just about every day and will continue to keep you updated on my findings!

Taylor Stitch

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While it bums me out that Taylor Stitch moved a bunch of their manufacturing over seas, they still know how to design a garment. Their latest is a hoodie built for the beach…

Details here.

Relwen Sailcloth Tanker

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A very light sailcloth jacket inspired by military ripstop and built like an absolute brick shithouse. Expensive, but worth every penny. Relwen does not play.

Details.

The Oxford

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Ryan, you feature casual clothes a lot and I was hoping to get your take on more formal office wear. For instance, I need a decent button down and would love something made in the USA that doesn’t make me look like a suit. Know what I mean?”

Man… I’m not your guy. I rarely dress formally and only when forced too… But, for button downs I don’t think you can beat a good Oxford just because they are so versatile. You can wear one with jeans and be fine on a date (the ones I go on anyhow) or throw it on with a suit and tie and get by at a wedding.

I think fashion guys are huge on collar shape, cut, etc… I’m not that guy, so have no idea if my choice meets those requirements… but my favorite is the selvedge Oxford that Todd Snyder sells.

Details here.

Interestingly, the site says this shirt is made in Portugal. Mine says “Made in the USA” on the tag. In any regard, wish I could be of more help…