Unrefinery

The Latest: Saturday 28 May 2016

Lesser Known Hat Trick Variants

Everyone knows that in hockey, a hat trick occurs when a player scores three goals in a game. A "natural hat trick" is when all three are scored in a row without any other players' goals intervening. A "Gordie Howe Hat Trick", representing the all-around greatness of history's best player, is comprised of one goal, one assist, and one fight. A few of the lesser-known variants you can use to impress your friends as the playoffs reach their conclusion:

Claude Lemieux Hat Trick: Faking three injuries and in the process successfully drawing three penalties.

Sidney Crosby Hat Trick: One slam-your-stick, one take-a-dive, one whine-to-the-ref.

Washington Capitals Hat Trick: Making it to the third playoff round. (Note: no recorded historical occurrences.)

Phil Kessel Hat Trick: Consumption of three "Hot Pockets" during a single intermission.


23.may.2016 culture
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Creative Africa and Ikiré Jones

Exploring the suite of exhibitions that comprise the Creative Africa celebration at the Philadelphia Museum of Art it was impossible to miss the sole contemporary menswear display by none other than Philadelphia's own Ikiré Jones—and equally impossible to overlook creative director Walé Oyéjidé in one of his own striking sport coats. The Ikiré Jones aesthetic is a fusion of African textiles with European tailoring, and to Walé this reflects both the global nature of contemporary African design and his own journey. "It's not solely one thing or another," he observes; "at this point I'm as American as I am Nigerian." When asked if a common thread between the wildly varying genres and aesthetics in the exhibitions might be working with materials rather than against them, he offered "...and maybe just using what you have".

Creative Africa continues through the end of the year. Ikiré Jones' made-to-order sport coats are available online for $450.
16.may.2016 culture design style
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Bella Spalla sport coats from eHaberdasher

For a couple of years now, sport coats from eHaberdasher's own Benjamin brand have presented an unbeatable value proposition: Italian-made, half-canvassed, made with a flattering cut and materials from top mills, and almost always under $400. Our only reservation in the past has been the overly-skinny lapels, a problem now solved in their latest batch of Bella Spalla Sport Coats. Look for the listings that specify "classic 9mm lapel" for grown-man-ready goodness. Two favourites shown: a magnificently textured brown plaid with olive overcheck and a soft blue and navy glen plaid (both $350).
09.may.2016 style
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Reliable Indicators

Sometimes a book's cover reveals more information than you may have been lead to believe. While not 100% accurate, there are enough cases of one characteristic being a reliable indicator of another that a Venn diagram of the two would indicate nearly complete overlap. Examples:

A: Men who wear bad shoes · B: Men who are bad people
A: Wearing double monkstraps · B: Taking medical advice from pharmaceutical commercials
A: "Selfie stick" · B: Psychopathy
A: Axe product users · B: Trump voters residing in frat houses
A: People who hate Cap'n Crunch · B: Jihadists


02.may.2016 culture
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Intelligent auto technology needs to wise up

Cars these days are loaded with computers, satellite receivers, radar, light sensors, moisture sensors, tire pressure monitors, cameras, thermometers, and pretty much everything they need to analyze the vehicle's location, surroundings and contents. Which makes it all the more irritating that they always seem to lack some common-sense functionality. For instance:
  • Smarter Front Airbag Override — If you can't tell the difference between a heavy briefcase dropped on the front passenger seat and a human being, then you probably aren't doing it right. Thanks to multipurpose LED displays we can't just stick black electrical tape over that idiot light anymore.

  • Better Situational Awareness For Safety Warnings — Your satnav-enabled car can pinpoint your exact position on the planet. You also told it where "home" is so that you can navigate there with a button press. So it needs to recognize that you're in your driveway, and not on a public road, and that you have every right to get out and retrieve your mail from the box without the vehicle screaming that your door is open and your seatbelt is undone and holy s**t we're all going to die unless you get back in and buckle up.

  • Genuinely Useful Voice Control — It's nice that you can say "call the office" or "play USB" and the car will place a call or start the music. What we really need is that when you're backing up, and a distant vehicle triggers the BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP cross-traffic alert, you can yell "I SEE IT, GODDAMMIT" and make it STFU.

25.apr.2016 tech
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20% better than a tailor, eh? Riiiiiiiight. | Fail

Clothing brand Mtailor claims that their app will use pictures of you to create a high quality garment that is "20% better than a tailor".

Two of these images are from their TV commercials, presumably showing some of their best work. The third shows the result when Buzzfeed took a break from copying other sites' content and attempted a product review. The last uses images from Mtailor's own site to demonstrate their ideals for sleeve length, pant length, and how clothes should be worn.

It seems the tailors of the world needn't worry about job security anytime soon.
18.apr.2016 style tech
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Sale Alert: 30% off at Floto

Unrefinery doesn't do a lot of sale alerts, but budget travelers who happen to be Italian-made luggage fetishists will want to check out the full-site 30% off sale at Floto running for the next couple of weeks. Floto is sort of notorious for having considerably higher prices on its own site than you'll find at other vendors, but this brings most bags down to at least $15 below Amazon's pricing and you can particularly clean up with the free shipping and the accessories—the latter including the mandatory Grande Strap [$41 on sale] as the standard strap will slice through your shoulder during any extended carry.

Unrefinery-tested and endorsed picks include the Venezia Leather Trunk Duffle [now $230] for heavy use and cold weather, and the Casiana Canvas Tote with leather trim [$244] for warm-weather getaways.
11.apr.2016 design style
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Allen Edmonds S/S 2016

On the heels (no pun intended) of Florsheim's handsome and colourful Sabato Loafer comes Allen Edmonds' revised Strandmok suede captoe [$245], a lighter weight and better made variant of a perennial summer favourite now rendered in more wearable colours.

Allen Edmonds has also expanded their clothing options, and a look through the offerings serves as a good reminder of the old rule that you should buy shoes from a shoemaker, clothes from a clothing maker, watches from a watch maker, etc.

What we're saying is that AE can have $245 for their suede brogues. They can't have $115 for their battered shorts. That's what we're saying.
05.apr.2016 style
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"Loose Ends" are visually unsatisfying

If we're honest we owe a lot to contemporary trends in suit design, which pulled us back from the giant shoulder-padded pleated-pants brink of the 1980s—where would we be without more form-fitting jackets, flat-front trousers, and trimmer sleeves?

That said, the "ultra-dinky everything" style of youth-oriented brands like Zara, H&M and Topman is problematic in that not only are the proportions unflattering, but a side effect is that it goes against a known principle of harmonious design to leave elements disjointed and disconnected. We've created the world's worst illustration to point out some examples of this principle. When combining a classic shirt and suit coat design, lines dovetail smoothly into each other—collar points are tucked into the jacket, pocket square and chest pocket slip under the lapel. When everything is thin and stubby, lines and angles are disconnected and float in space. The eye doesn't like this. It's unresolved. Don't piss off the eye.
28.mar.2016 style
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The hazards of light grey wool flannel trousers

The trousers on the left are, obviously, wool flannel. On the right, sweatpants. In the middle...? Well, the context and cuffs give them away, but this is an object lesson in how multiple parameters can influence our perception of even a classic dress garment to the point where it might be mistaken for something too casual for travel beyond the gym parking lot.

Light- and mid-grey wool flannel pants are widely regarded as a menswear staple due to their versatility. And rightly so. But a trim fit is essential, to avoid any draping or bagginess whatsoever, and the crease is important enough to warrant buying your own trouser press.
22.mar.2016 style
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