For those of you who don’t know, TGT has a fixation for all things fast – well, not all things, just machines. That said, we’ll talk about the beast that allows the most intimate bond between man and speed – the coupe automobile. The coupe is the incarnation of the speed demon. It carries out a battle between man and physics for a joint victory on the road – and most often then not, it’s lines turn heads like Jane Russell. The automotive achievements during the golden age of auto design yielded some of the most inspiring feats of engineering, that may well move more to action when parked, than cornering at 70 mph. We are talking about the days before composite materials and fiber glass chassis, when chrome and aluminum were the modern day standard to get you to go faster, and keep you looking pretty doing it.
So, TGT celebrates 5 automobiles that changed the world of racing and had an equally great impact to our cultural understanding of the present – or at least to our cultural understanding of the word Cool. These are TGT’s picks for the 5 Curvaceous Coupes.
1. Porsche 550 Spyder (1953)
Few staples of the ivy prep’s wardrobe has garnered the laurels of versatility as has the Barcuta G9 Harrington jacket. Names of the like of Steve McQueen, James Dean, Elvis Presley, Sinatra, The Clash and countless others have worn the iconic British tartan-plaid lined jackets. Making its film debut in James Dean’s 1955 Rebel Without A Cause, the jacket would become synonymous with the 50s heartthrob and with the edgy leading man. Shortly thereafter the King himself wore the jacket in the aptly titled 1958 flick, King Creole. Elvis Presley effectively cemented its status as a style icon among the limited selection of mens apparel contemporaries.
Not a day too late, the folks at Jalopnik bring to our attention Curt Wallin’s documentary about the first speedsters to carve up the salt flats of Bonneville. We are speaking of none other than the pioneers of land speed records, The Boys of Bonneville. If you’ve been following Back In The Badlands you’ll see our fascination for the adrenaline chasers of old – the guys who modded up motorcycles and cars to travel at ungodly speeds. The Boys of Bonneville documents the same pursuit of speed and adventure – namely that of the frankenstein speed Goliath known as the Mormon Meteor, based on a 1932 Duesenberg chassis (on BITB). Advanced screenings are available in California, Utah and Nevada. For more information be sure to check out their site on their tentative limited release.
Confirming the suspicions and many whispers regarding the illegitimacy of the Timex/JCREW Military watch, comes Hodinkee to confirm the claims. You are sure to see them virtually everywhere you go – a clean brush grade steel case with the Arabic numerals on a NATO nylon band. Not a bad look, a solid nod to function over aesthetic, and overall a clean sharp looking watch. However, it is the basis behind the aesthetic that has watch enthusiasts raising their brow.
While JCREW sets the watch in a WWII context by advertising its origins from that of a 1940s military watch produced by Timex, that reality is a little further from the truth. Or 40 years from the truth. It seems the watch was not inspired by any timepiece in existence at the time, but but by a design Timex pitched to the military in the 1980s, and was consequently never picked up. Still a functional and clever design, but nonetheless one carried out in nothing more than good ole’ American plastic – intended to be disposable. Surprisingly, its elusiveness has caused it to become a bit of a relic among watch collectors.
The National Motorcycle Race was photo documented in the fall of 1955 by veteran photographer George Silk in the Mohave Valley. There, one of the most compelling series of motorcycle Americana imagery was captured, to become part of the Life photo archive.
Today, we dust off the old prints for a glimpse into a day when infinite-cool wore dirt and grime like a bespoken tuxedo. The images contain fantastic examples of 1950s style, with heavy leather jackets, ankle high boots, and navy deck jackets strewn into the mix. The young child on the motorcycle wears one of the baddest looking canvas and shearling jackets I have ever seen. Other interesting touches found below are the Triumph Motorcycle graphics on the grease barrels and the patched on lettering on the team shirts, as modern shirt printing techniques were just being developed. As a whole the look of the day was one of character and edge – a little reminder to modernity that we need to get ourselves dirty every now and again. And to that we say – challenge accepted.
Be sure to follow through to see the full series of images below. (more…)
Mr. Glenn O’Brien, the GQ Style Guy himself, with his wisdom on everything from french cuff shirts to aging gracefully, has put his words to pen and created the ultimate book on being a gentleman. How To Be A Man, will be sure to solve your sartorial conundrums and move you to study up while lulling a tumbler of brandy in your palm. Featuring the intermittent illustrations of renown artist Jean Phillipe Delhomme’s caricatures (how fittingly ironic), this brightly bound hard cover will be a welcomed treasure to any bookcase. Manhood, Style, Behavior, Culture and Society, and Wisdom, all cleverly articulated by the man who rubbed elbows with legendary social heavyweights such as Andy Warhol and David Bowie. Do yourself a favor and get your grimy paws on this book. All those who have witnessed you waver from a position of gentlemanly grace will be greatly appreciative. Cheers. (more…)
TGT can now be found on Facebook and Twitter. Occasionally, supplemental information and material will make its way to either source. We encourage you to follow, should you feel so inclined and partake in any banter that pertains to the disposition of TGT. Enjoy.
When the legendary Argentine motorhead was asked how he won 5 Formula One races, he calmly replied “Very Easy. Accelerate more. Break less”.
Smell like fuel, Have the grit and take the Carraciola Karrusell like Fangio. Accelerate more, break less.
Juan Manuel Fangio, F1 1954-1957 Champion
Yesterday, we launched the sister site/tumblr-sibling of The Gentleman’s Topcoat. If you haven’t noticed, half of the driving force behind TGT, is not only the style agenda of the gentleman, but the visuals associated with them. Back in the Badlands, is just that – a visual celebration of the places, things, items and moments we admittedly hope to experience. It translates into our unabashed attempt to influence our daily lives with these visuals. It is a conscious reminder, that we need not lead a life marked by monotony and bland overtones. Suit up, and step outside – We are Back in the Badlands.
Pilot the most feared machine known to man – act like it’s no biggie. Cruise high and slow, act with intent. Do it right.
“I am proud that I was able to start with nothing, plan it, and have it work as perfectly as it did… I sleep clearly every night.”
– Paul Tibbets (1975), Pilot of the Enola Gay
The Wall Street Journal has one helluva’ concerning claim if I have ever heard one – The imminent demise of the formal wear requirement. While many, including myself, would not deny the apparent decline of the formal dress requirement over the course of the decade, we all note the complimentary resurgence of well dressed fellows.
Dapper Dan – we salute you. However, we do believe the WSJ claims are a bit of a stretch. To declare the swelling waters of casual dress are none less than a slowly approaching tidal wave to wipe the formal dress requirement into extinction, is – in one word, precocious. Like all trends and movements, even the doing away with mores limited to the opulent confines of fine dining establishments are subject to the rise and fall of tastes and, with regards to style trends – the contents of our wallet. Case and point – look to the evolving trends currently underway, shifting from a utilitarian fashion with a non-specific income tax bracket, to styles still very much utilitarian yet reflecting better times on the horizon – safari themed collections, designs reminiscent of aviators who glamorized flights, and others. The economy already suggests that it may not be too soon to polish off those old cufflinks.
Jack Dempsey didn’t believe in magic, and neither should you – Tonight, come out swinging. Literalism’s aside, you know what I mean. Make it happen, and dress the part.
Above : Jack Dempsey takes a swing at Harry Houdini at a publicity event with Benny Leonard, while American troops look on (Circa ~1925).
Let’s be honest, we love things here at TGT. In light of that truth, let us not forget that there are many things we don’t need. However, there are the belongings every man needs, or believes he does and thus will never leave his home without. That was the concept behind Everyday Carry – a tumblr style site of the items we fill our pockets with, strap to our wrists and push up to the bridge of our nose. Anyone can submit a picture of their collection of man regalia, to share with others. Granted, every now and then there is a collection of items that resemble the equipment of a conspiracy theorist on the eve of Y2K. However, use your own discretion to decide what is to be taken seriously and what not – at least in terms of everyday carry.
As for myself, these are the list of things I carry on a regular basis. Living in New York, I do still carry a pocket knife, but demoted myself to a Leatherman for obvious reasons. Back when I studied in North Carolina, I even then got a lot of flack for carrying a pocket knife. Today, the Leatherman sits in my bag. Anyways, now that the disclaimer is out of the way – we take inventory:
It used to be that a man had a relationship with his tailor, like his barber. A visit was usually accompanied by the inquiry about the family and the Mrs, maybe some discourse about the local politics, a warm handshake and one was off.
Well, here is TGT’s celebration and reminder of the important place of the tailor in a polished gentleman’s life. We bring you skilled Brooklyn-based tailor Martin Greenfield, to remind you of that reality. Working as a tailor in a concentration camp during the holocaust, he made his jump across the Atlantic after a relative found him after the War’s end. He has been working on the tailleur that makes boys into men ever since, and runs his own shop across the Hudson.
The reality is, few men exist today that know the bond of fabric and seam, quite as well as Martin Greenfield knows. So, dust off that old duffel bag and throw it over your shoulder, we all own something that could look better on us. You know who you are – Mothballs aren’t mints to keep your coats fresh… [Photos Via TheSelby]
The Hublots, Cartiers, and Jaeger LeCoultres are all present, however it is the revelations of a select few that grasp our attention. Those contenders are Rolex, Bell & Ross and Patek Phillipe.
For those of you who don’t know who Scott Schuman is, he is the chap behind the camera and popular internet publication known as the Sartorialist. Frequently inking a column for GQ, Mr. Schuman uses a discerning eye to highlight individuals with the gate and flare afforded by personal style. His subjects range from the disheveled bohemian to the tired road worker catching a break on a shady Neapolitan curb; they span the globe. All and all, the following is a piece on a fascinating photographer and observing life through the lens; people watching.
Most interestingly though, is his philosophy on starting something with limited knowledge. I’m fairly confident that every one of ourselves, can say the same about at least one important thing in our lives. Cheers.
Fifty years ago, Sean Connery emerged from the Jamaican waters on the set of Dr. No with his Submariner 6538 and complimenting nylon NATO strap. Ladies abound and Martini in hand, the humble pairing would markedly be dubbed the James Bond watch. However, with the passing of time, the cinematic union of NATO strap and time piece would fall into the dusty recesses of the forgotten, kept alive only in the community of watch connoisseurs and Bond fans.
Fortunately, due to the resurgence of military themed functionality and economically efficient style trends, the NATO strap has ridden the wave back to the shore of the public conscious and can be seen virtually everywhere. Enter Maratac Straps.
Hailed as the premier strap manufacturer among the watch collecting community, Maratac engineers their straps to MIL SPEC standards and the UK’s Ministry of Defense qualifications. Designed for rough and tumble reliability and quality, the Maratac strap of today would have prompted James Bond himself from switching out his ill-fitting 18mm strap for a properly fitting strap.
The Ivy Corner stands to be a discussion of the style sensibilities promoted by the appearance, demeanor, and tradition of the collegiate contender. Having a style that wavers from disheveled and meditated to put-together and methodical. The Ive Leaguer look is of many facets, but ultimately relies on simplicity and tradition. And as such, we begin our discussion about a little tradition.
To piggyback on our most recent discussion on the oxford shirt, it only seemed to be fitting to start with a peculiarity of Ivy Style which now sits in ephemera. Above you see the back of the oxford shirt which commonly is adorned by the Locker Loop. For those wondering what to call that loop all these years, consider that quandary settled. In this case however, the locker loop has been removed.
Apparently, as a way to signal that a man was spoken-for to the campus’ female cohort, the young man would cut his Locker Loop on his oxford or remove it all together and wear it proudly so. Seems simple enough and straight forward, but in my honest opinion it sounds like a waste of a perfectly good shirt.
Either way, with the resurgence of all things prep these days, the cut locker loop isn’t all too uncommon to spot in the post-atomic age. We aren’t saying that we now have guys mangling their shirts at home, but rather that they are coming from retailers with the “going-steady” symbol of the prep days.
For those who aren’t handy enough to mark yourself a taken man with a pair of scissors, you can procure such a shirt at Gant Rugger or patiently wait for the opening of the Gant Yale Co-Op at its original New Haven location.
Any man of good sartorial sensibilities knows the frustration of finding the right Oxford shirt. With varying ranges of width and length, and shirts promising a Slim Fit, clothiers do their honest best, while their marketing department promises you a little more. Your search for a trim and fit cut may well be over.
Quite simply put, it is the perfect oxford. The heavy basketweave cotton fabric of Gitman Brothers shirts have the right weight and the right cut to keep you looking good at least twice as long as the average oxford. Employing a significantly more weighty cotton than traditional oxfords, the Gitman Brothers oxford hold those good looking creases and folds that say more about your affinity for pre-war American motorcycles and swiss horological devices, than a notion that you may not own an iron.
Do not expect the traditional tent fit, but expect the equivalent of slipping into the cockpit of a P-40 customized to hug you in all the right places.
The Sound of Clapton, Hendrix and Zappa. Brought to my attention from a close guitar aficionado friend of mine, is the new release of the short on the pedal that made rock history. The iconic Cry Baby, or the wah-wah pedal as it is also commonly known as, was the revolutionary sound behind the guitar of the 60s. Hendrix rocked his foot on it in London and made history in ’66. Many others followed. It was then that funk on the guitar was decidedly here to stay. Crank it up to 11, and enjoy the feedback.
Within is the video release in HD, complete with a video of Hendrix’s rendition of Voo Doo Child, for a textbook sample of the pedal and guitar’s eponymous voice.
The hard working hands at Billykirk have a way of taking new materials and giving them the quality that recalls better times. At the helm of Billykirk, the brotherly duo Chris and Kirk Bray are the creative talent behind the remarkably crafted belts, bags, wallets, and other accouterments. Nostalgic for the belongings of a world where you weren’t already wondering when an item you were to purchase would come to break, they had the idea of bringing back something that was distinctly American – Craftsmanship. With the aid of the handed down know-how of a third generation leather maker and the skillful Amish, something old was born again.
Be sure to check them out at Billykirk.com, where you can order there, or at BlackbirdBallard.com, or Polyvore.com, where the occasional rarity not featured on their main page can be found. If you need someone to stand behind their word, I will say confidently that I own two of their belts and they are built to last, like things should.
In 1935, Franklin Delano Roosevelt slated the creation of the New Deal’s Work Progress Administration. It was the agency’s task to create large scale public works projects to stimulate growth and employ millions in a time where uncertainty was ever present. The projects would range from the construction of roads and bridges, to the management of creative programs to bring cultural significance to American communities. An already ambitious undertaking, FDR created the arm of the WPA known as the Federal Arts Project, and entrusted them with the responsibility of improving awareness and visibility of the program. (more…)
The folks at the Printing Ink Company have put together a beautifully composed video short on the making of ink. Wildly under appreciated, ink is the mode with which shape and color takes place; and to those with a discerning eye, or should I say tact, we can find texture. In today’s world of speedy production, a humdrum knack for efficiency and progress, we observe that texture in printing is a quality that has slowly become irrelevant, especially in books. As a consequence of our own lifestyles we forget that not only can the written word touch our lives, but we can also touch it. For those who need reminding, an old book that belonged to your great grandfather will be reassure of its presence. For now, we watch the art and immensely personal experience that is the creation of shape and color.
Watch it here, as UMG will not allow embedding.