Hangers

http://www.valetmag.com/the-handbook/clothes/hangers/index.php

You obviously care about your clothes. Treat them right by outfitting your closet with the right hangers for the job.

 

 

The Good
 

Shirt

Known as ‘crystal clear hangers,’ these are the same ones used in department stores—and for good reason. Crafted from styrene plastic, they’re durable and retain the garments’ form. Plus, the swiveling metal hook makes it easy to hang pieces in either direction without having to take them off the hanger.

 

Pants

Whether you’re hanging flat front trousers, jeans or khakis, fold in half lengthwise and clip them by the waistband.

 

Suit

A suit requires its own hanger. It should be wide, with contoured arms to keep the jacket’s shoulder shape and a bar on which to drape the pants. Look for a ribbed bar that will keep your pants in place without the use of clamps.

 

Coat

Your coat takes a beating from the elements. You’ll drag it in dirty and hang it up wet. Take care of it indoors by storing it on a sturdy wooden hanger to help support the weight and protect the shape.

 

 

The
Bad
 

Those cheap, tubular plastic hangers—which now come in a rainbow of colors—will ruin your clothes. The thinness and 45-degree angle of the arm means clothes are often stretched and creased.

The
Ugly
 

Wire hangers have their purposes. Namely, summer camp craft projects and breaking into cars. Instead of letting them infiltrate your closet, put your freshly-pressed shirts onto their real hangers as soon as you get home from the cleaners.

The American List

http://acontinuouslean.com/the-american-list/

There are many Made in the USA lists throughout the internet, nearly all of them tacky and in poor taste. These awful websites have led me to compile a list of stylish and cool brands that make their goods in America. One of my goals with this is to make it easier to locate and buy domestically produced apparel products. Another motivating factor is my desire for things Made in the USA to be embraced by a younger, more stylish consumer.

Note that the * symbol after a brand means that only select goods are made here in America. Please feel free to suggest additions to mw [at] acontinuouslean [dot] com

***

—ACCESSORIES—

Alexander Olch — New York, New York — neckties, accessories

Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons — New York, New York — accessories

David Hart & Co. — New York, New York — neckties

Faribault Woolen Mills — Faribault, Minnesota — blankets

Geier Glove Co. — Centralia, Washington — leather gloves

Leather Man Limited — Essex, Connecticut — belts, accessories

Rogues Gallery — Portland, Maine — bags, shoes*

Swans Island — Northport, Maine — blankets

Walz Caps — Vista, California — bicycle hats

The Welch Company Inc. — Portland, Oregon — suspenders

Wiley Belts — Charlottesville, Virginia — belts, leather goods

—BAGS—

Acorn Bags — California — cycling bags

Billykirk — Pennsylvania — bags, leather goods

Buzzline — Fort Pierce, Flordia — bags

Duluth Pack — Duluth, Minnesota — bags

Estex Mfg. Co. — Fairburn, Georgia — bags

Johnson Woolen Mills — Johnson, Vermont — bags, clothing, accessories

J. W. Hulme Co. — St. Paul, Minnesota — bags, accessories

Klein Tools — Lincolnshire, Illinois — bags, accessories

LL Bean — Freeport, Maine — bags*

Makr — Orlando, Florida — Bags, accessories, leather goods

Tough Traveler — Schenectady, New York — bags

Wm. J. Mills & Co. — Greenport, New York — bags

—BICYCLES—

A.N.T. Bicycles Holliston, Massachusetts — bicycles, bicycle accessories

Bilenky Cycle Works — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — bicycles

Brooklyn Machine Works — Brooklyn, New York — bicycles

Cannondale — Bethel, Connecticut — bicycles*

Freeman Transport — Missoula, Montana — bicycles, accessories

Outlier — Brooklyn, New York — cycling clothing

Phil Wood —San Jose, California — bicycle components

Richard Sachs Cycles — Chester, Connecticut — bicycles

Townsend Bicycles — Monrovia, California — bicycles

Vanilla Bicycles — Portland, Oregon — bicycles

Velo Orange — Annapolis, Maryland — bicycles, accessories*

—CLOTHING—

Anderson-Little — Tamarac, Flordia — navy blazers

American Apparel — Los Angeles, California — knits, wovens, clothing

Band of Outsiders — Los Angeles, California — clothing, accessories

Berle Manufacturing — Charleston, South Carolina trousers

Bill’s Khakis — Reading, Pennsylvania — khaki pants, clothing

Birdwell Beach Britches Santa Ana, California — swimwear

Brooks Brothers — New York, New York — tailored clothing, sportswear, footwear, accessories*

Bemidji Woolen Mills — Bemidji, Minnesota — clothing, blankets

Camber — Norristown, Pennsylvania — tee shirts, sweatshirts

Carhartt — Dearborn, Michigan — workwear, outerwear*

CC Filson — Seattle, Washington — outwear, bags, accessories*

Centralia Knitting Mills — Centralia, Washington — outerwear

Engineered Garments — New York, New York — clothing, bags, accessories

Freeman’s Sporting Club — New York, New York — tailored clothing, sportswear, accessories

Gitman Brothers — Ashland, Pennsylvania — woven shirts

Hart Schaffner Marx — Chicago, Illinois — tailored clothing

Hertling Trousers — Brooklyn, New York — pants

Hickey Freeman — Rochester, New York — tailored clothing*

Individualized — Perth Amboy, New Jersey — woven shirts

J. Press — New Haven, Connecticut — tailored clothing, sportswear, accessories*

Loden Dager — New York, New York — tailored clothing, sportswear

Obedient Sons — New York, New York — tailored clothing, sportswear, accessories

Oxxford Clothing — Chicago, Illinois — tailored clothing

Pendleton Woolen Mills — Portland, Oregon — sportswear, blankets*

Pointer Brand — Bristol, Tennessee — clothing, denim, workwear

Rag & Bone — New York, New York — clothing, accessories*

Round HouseShawnee, Oklahoma — denim, workwear

Southwick — Lawrence, Massachusetts — tailored clothing

Schott NYC — New York, New York — outerwear

Sterlingwear — Boston, Massachusetts — outerwear

Steven Alan — New York, New York — sportswear, accessories*

Stormy Kromer — Ironwood, Michigan — hats, clothing, outerwear

Thom Browne — New York, New York — tailored clothing, sportswear

Unis — New York, New York — sportswear, outerwear, accessories

Woolrich Woolen Mills Collection — Woolrich, Pennsylvania — clothing, accessories

Wrath Arcane — Cleveland, Ohio — sportswear

—DENIM—

Crate — Los Angeles, Californiadenim, outerwear

Earnest Sewn — New York, New York — denim

Jean Shop — New York, New York — denim

Levis — San Francisco, California — denim*

Rogan — New York, New York — denim

RRL — New York, New York — denim

Spurr — New York, New York — denim

The Stronghold — Los Angeles, California — denim

—FOOTWEAR—

Alden — Middleborough, Massachusetts — footwear

Allen-EdmondsPort Washington, Wisconsin — footwear*

Arrow Moccasin Company — Hudson, Massachusetts — footwear

Chippewa Boots — Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin — footwear

Cove Shoe Company — Martinsburg, Pennsylvania — boots, shoes

Danner — Portland, Oregon — footwear

E. Vogel — New York, New York — boots, shoes

Fox River Mills — Appleton, Wisconsin — socks

LL Bean — Freeport, Maine — boots*

New Balance — Boston, Massachusetts — athletic shoes*

Oliver Moore — New York, New York — custom shoes

Quoddy Trail Moccasin Company — Perry, Maine — footwear

Red Wing — Red Wing, Minnesota — footwear

Russell Moccasin Co. — Berlin, Wisconsin — footwear

Vincent & Edgar — New York, New York — bespoke shoes

Weinbrenner — Merrill, Wisconsin — footwear

Wesco Boots — Scappoose, Oregon — footwear

White’s Boots — Spokane, Washington — footwear

WigwamSheboygan, Wisconsin — socks

Yuketen — Hermosa Beach, California — boots, shoes

—OBJECTS—

Baxter of California — Los Angeles, California — men’s grooming products

Buck Knives — Post Falls, Idaho — knives

Field Notes — Portland, Oregon — note pads, writing instruments

Fisher Space Pen — Boulder City, Nevada — writing instruments

Leatherman — Portland, Oregon — Multi-Tools

Mag Lite — Ontario, California — flash lights

Springbar Tents — Salt Lake City, Utah — canvas tents

Steam Cheese Burger Chest — Meriden, Connecticut — cheese burger cookers

Tervis Tumblers — Venice, Flordia — plastic cups

The United States Playing Card Company — Cincinnati, Ohio — playing cards

Vornado Fans — Andover, Kansas — fans

Wilson Bohannan Co. — Marion, Ohio — padlocks

W.R. Case & Sons— Bradford, Pennsylvania — knives

Zeroll — Fort Pierce, Flordia — ice cream scoops

Zippo — Bradford, Pennsylvania — lighters

How to break free from the single trap: seven tips

Are you stuck in the lonely hearts’ club? The marital therapist Andrew G. Marshall says finding love is just a matter of changing your tactics

For some, being single is no longer a natural phase between the end of one relationship and the beginning of another but somewhere they have become trapped. In my new book The Single Trap I look at the underlying causes: how the internet might provide more choice but makes it harder to choose; how having divorced parents makes it more difficult to trust; and the social changes that mean we meet fewer prospective partners.

However, it is possible to break free from the single trap. The first step is to take a fresh look at yourself. Often the very things that we think protect us from getting hurt make it harder for new people to come into our lives and because like attracts like it is important to balance ourselves. The second step involves changing the way that we search for love, to become more open-minded, learning the art of mixing and making more fulfilling emotional connections, as the extract on the facing page shows.

In my work as a marital therapist I always start by taking a history of my client’s relationships. Most people knew each other casually, or even distantly, before going out together. Work has been another low-risk way to meet people; other couples have a shared interest. The key advantage of meeting someone casually — as a friend of a friend, through work or sharing a hobby — is that all the defences are down. You are not meeting a potential life partner, but chatting for 30 seconds waiting for the lift. The stakes are so low there is no need for game-playing and you are more likely to be yourself.

What I’m suggesting in effect is a return to the roots of British courting: parading, mixing, and saying “how do you do?” At parties, it’s not looking for a partner but for an interesting conversation, which might lead to a recommendation for an art exhibition and getting talking to someone else at the gallery. It’s about joining a poetry class, not to find a potential date, but because you love words and then going to a classmate’s coffee-shop performance and being introduced to someone from his or her workplace.

Mixing is about being open to new ideas, new opportunities and ultimately new people. The good news is that not only will these seven skills opposite help you to meet more people, they will also undo some of the bad habits acquired through dating.

THE SEVEN STEPS TO FINDING A PARTNER

1. Riding the flow

Have you ever been so wrapped up in something that when you looked at your watch, time had evaporated? Psychologists call this “riding the flow”. Not only is it extremely pleasurable, but your mood is expansive, tolerant and creative. Even better, we forget ourselves and are less self-conscious and self-critical. Not only is this the perfect state of mind to meet a partner, but the chances are increased dramatically; happy people are a pleasure to be around. People get more satisfaction from activities outside work — the most common examples are sport or exercise, or satisfaction could come from joining a choir or volunteering. So how do you find your own personal flow? It must be something you find personally rewarding and which maintains your interest. Set yourself small, realistic goals. It is better to aim at learning 20 French words a week than to speak French in time for your holiday. Seek to help others rather than just looking after number one. You will reap the personal benefits. Research shows that volunteering is the second greatest source of joy, after dancing, and a good way of meeting people. As your aim is to find a partner, look for ways to flow with other people. If hours disappear when you are playing the piano, accompany the local amateur dramatic society. If you enjoy squash, join a league.

2. Six degrees of separation

Frigyes Karinthy, a Hungarian author, claimed that we can link ourselves to any other human being on Earth using no more than five intermediaries, one of whom is a personal acquaintance. The idea was tested in a Sixties experiment by a social psychologist who mailed random people and asked them to forward a parcel to someone who might forward it closer to the final recipient. The average number of times the parcel was forwarded was six. But what does all this mean for mixing and finding your ideal partner? Firstly, the more friends and acquaintances, the greater chances of meeting him or her. Market researcher John T. Molloy interviewed 2,500 couples and found that women about to marry knew significantly more people than women with no proposal in sight. Secondly, six degrees of separation underlines how important it is to take every opportunity to talk to people. Look back at your previous partners. How many times did you meet someone who was a friend of a friend? Even if you met by chance, did you have acquaintances in common?

3. Becoming open-hearted

What is the best predictor for whether two people will be attracted? When I put this question to acquaintances, there was a clear consensus: looks. Yet if you look around your own circle of friends, you will find ordinary and even plain people who are never short of dates, and gorgeous ones who seem doomed to remain single. So what’s going on? Fortunately, social psychologists have always been fascinated by what attracts people to each other and the key predictor is not looks but the sheer amount of contact time. We expect to be attracted to the unknown, but are most likely to fall for the known. Social psychologists have found a second key predictor of mutual attraction: similarity. Although we might occasionally like a challenge, ultimately we choose someone similar in one or more of the following ways: attitudes, personality, demographic characteristics and lifestyle. So how do you move from a spark of interest for someone you see on a regular basis to a relationship? Becoming open-hearted Contrary to many people’s expectations, personality is more important than looks in attracting a partner; students were asked to rate qualities in possible mates, and the results were: 1) Kind and considerate; 2) Socially exciting; 3) Artistic/intelligent; 4) Easy-going/adaptable.

So how do you come across as open-hearted? Smile: This will not only make you seem warm but approachable too. Maintain good eye contact — people who cannot look us directly in the eye are considered to be lying. Be positive: We like people who make us feel good about the world, and ourselves. Appear interested: This includes nodding the head, repeating back key phrases and, most powerful of all, identifying feelings (“you must have been horrified”).

4. Flirting

If you have been out of the singles game for a while, flirting can be particularly daunting. In essence, there are three key ingredients to successful flirting: encouraging body language, easy-flowing conversation and confidence.

Encouraging body language Leaning slightly towards someone — although not too close — shows interest. Nodding signals not only encouragement but also demonstrates involvement in the story that you’re being told. Blinking can also set a romantic mood. We blink every two or three seconds and increasing the rate will increase your partner’s too. Conversely slowing down a blink can be sexually attractive as it mimics a wink. Mirroring — matching your body posture to someone else’s — can amplify intimacy.

Easy-flowing conversation Value small talk: It’s a good way of warming up for a more interesting conversation and provides a breathing space to relax. When using small talk add extra conversational hooks: “At least the rain will bring on things in my allotment.” Look for areas of conversational connection. Echo the other person’s language. Don’t block topics A rant against dogs fouling the pavements will not build rapport. Never underestimate the importance of asking questions. A good listener will always be appreciated.

Confidence We like confident, outgoing people Make a list of three things under the following headings — parts of my body that I like; positive aspects of my personality; past achievements; past compliments and my potential. Check your language in case you are unknowingly running yourself down. Be upbeat: When you are interested and excited, your face muscles become more animated and more attractive. Confidence is not about being perfect. It comes from knowledge and experience, and through achieving small goals.

5. Taking a risk

When adopting this mixing skill, the first job is to reconsider people that you already know but have dismissed on possibly spurious grounds. John T.Molloy found that 20 per cent of the women he interviewed coming out of a marriage bureau had not liked their intended when they first met him. However, something made them reconsider and take a risk. The second way of taking a risk is to suspend judgment for longer and give your unconscious time to breathe and decide. If you have been thinking about someone in a new way, it is probably time to see more of them. This might be officially seen as a date, or possibly an extension of your normal routine. I would suggest you follow these guidelines:

No introspection on the date :Just enjoy the moment. Let the experience brew: Try to avoid making a judgment and instead sleep on it. Ultimately, your unconscious will tell you if there is a true match But your unconscious can talk only if you are prepared to listen — and that’s impossible if you’re too busy analysing. By waiting until the next morning, you will have avoided the snap judgment and stretched your normal window of decision-making.

6. Do as you would be done by

We frequently judge on the most superficial grounds, but demand that others consider our character and personality, not just our looks, weight and bank balance. If men knew the problems of women (who have traditionally supposed to wait to be asked) and women knew men’s fears (looking foolish), we would be kinder. These are the new rules of seeing someone: Both men and women have an equal opportunity to ask each other out. The policy should be, generally, to accept an invitation. First outings should be small events. If you promise to call or contact, it is your responsibility to do so. Whoever suggests the outing pays.

7. Be philosophical

Although we think of philosophy as being dominated by dead men with beards, it is in essence about making sense of the world around us. We have to accept the things over which we have no control and concentrate on what we can influence: our own behaviour. This means embracing all of the seven skills of mixing and, in particular, taking a risk. Sometimes when we stop trying to control — and when we least expect it — love comes to us.

© Andrew G. Marshall 2009. Extracted from The Single Trap: The Two-Step Guide to Escaping it and Finding Lasting Love (Bloomsbury, £12.99), published on February 2. The book is available for £11.69, free p&p, from Times Books; tel 0845 2712134, timesonline.co.uk/booksfirst

Feeling For … White Jeans

http://themoment.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/feeling-for-white-jeans/

Ahead of his time, Paul Newman rode the white jeans trend in “Sometimes a Great Notion” (1971). (Everett Collection)

Bruce Pask, T Magazine’s men’s fashion director, writes on style every two weeks.

I know, I know: summer steaminess, white jeans … it’s a no-brainer. Still, I have to say that this is the first time I’ve been feeling for white jeans in quite a few years — they previously felt a little too polished, or not polished enough. White jeans got lost in the (mini) chasm between proper trousers and blue jeans. But this season I’m loving them with desert boots (surprise!) to keep them from looking a bit too brunchy. I’m also liking them worn with blazers, collared shirts and ties; I enjoy the crispness of that look.

I was a bit surprised by what a challenge it was to find the right white jeans: not too baggy (we did say crisp!), with a nice straight leg. I thought that white Levi’s 501s would be perfect, but the fit was not quite right for white. J. Crew only had a lightweight linen five-pocket version in the store. Step away from the linen jeans and walk out. I repeat: step away. It’s not flattering on most guys and wants to be worn with sandals, which makes it too “country-weekend-in-the-city.” However, when I mentioned this to a friend who works at J. Crew, he said to go online, where they have a nice straight leg white jean. A.P.C. also makes a great pair: nice bright white, no contrast stitching, nicely slim, but not overly skinny.

By the way, I’m still cuffing my jeans, including these white ones. And one more thing: I’m very excited about wearing them in the fall. Those traditional rules about not wearing white after Labor Day absolutely do not apply to white jeans — they are a staple. I love white jeans with a camel coat or sweater; navy is also a fantastic pairing. So, even if we can already, unfortunately, smell the waning of summer, I’m feeling for white jeans.