Here at Unrefinery we write about style and design for gents, and occasionally we try not to be dicks about it.

March 16, 2018  ·  style

Meermin is coming on

It's not that there was anything wrong with the "Hiro" last that Meermin built their previous chelsea boots atop, but for those accustomed to the Italian brands it was hard not to see it as ever so slightly rounded and stubby. For that reason the new "Elton" last boot is particularly welcome—at $220, it brings most of the Ferragamo steez at less than half the price.

American fans of the label who prefer not to make an educated guess on sizing when ordering from Spain are being rewarded this year as Meermin opens its first store in Chelsea, NYC. A new US-based warehouse should speed delivery time and hopefully cut costs.

February 26, 2018  ·  style

Suitsupply S/S 2018

Suitsupply's 2018 Spring/Summer pieces are available for pre-order and we're here for it. Top picks this time around:

Lazio light brown stripe suit [$699]
Rich, slubby blend of 40% Linen, 25% Silk, 23% Cotton, and 12% Polyamide promises breathability with reasonable defense against wrinkleage. The chalk stripe gives an otherwise casual suit a hint of work-readiness.

Light brown shawl cardigan [$129]
Wear it over a t-shirt, wear it as a stand-in for a blazer, pull it on at the beach. Tremendously versatile cotton/linen sweater in a light neutral tone.

Light grey raincoat [$499]
Interesting colour for this sort of thing. VBC 80% Wool, 20% Polyurethane blend with a subtle texture. Blends style and usability with storm closure, taped seams, and a lot of nice stitching detail.

Havana brown check sports coat [$399]
Everybody who ever experiences a warm climate needs an unlined, minimally structured cotton/linen blazer with an interesting casual pattern. This is just about the epitome and as good a place to start as any.
February 19, 2018  ·  culture  ·  design  ·  style

Black Panther and Afrofuturism

So as we were saying, Afrofuturism as pan-disciplinary art movement has hovered just outside the mainstream of western culture at least as far back as the profoundly alien Sun Ra brought back a new kind of jazz from outer space. A few years ago the Studio Museum in Harlem's Shadows Took Shape exhibition writ large the breadth and depth of the asthetic by presenting over 60 works of futuristic art celebrating the African diaspora across multiple media.

Nonetheless it doesn't get more mainstream than a big-budget Marvel superhero movie so it's impossible to overstate the significance of Black Panther as a cultural milestone. To be African is to acknowledge change and conflict while daring to envision a peaceful, vibrant future.

For considerably more and better researched cultural context, check out Mashable's article on Afrofuturism. And don't miss Elle Magazine's interview with Black Panther costume designer Ruth Carter on crafting the unique style of Wakanda.
Your favourite African accessories brand is proud to introduce our first-ever Women's Collection. Like our men's pieces, the women's jewelry is made from materials sourced from across the continent, from earthy Ghana wax print bangles to luxurious Egyptian lapis lazuli. There's also new wristwear for men this season, including wristbeads and Liberian coin cufflinks.

As always, we've got you covered for your holiday shopping. Use promo code cheers17 for 20% all of the above through December 15, 2017.

What a difference a year makes. The last time Unrefinery looked at loafer socks the cheap ones were relatively crude and the good ones were $15 a pair. Nowadays the options are plentiful and inexpensive. Three options for your consideration:

Timberland Men's Boat Shoe Liner No Show [$5/pair] — The best reviewed here, with the lowest rise, medium weight and comfortable construction. Timberland. Go figure. Buy these if you only buy one kind.

Thirty48 No Show Loafer Socks [$3.50/pair] — A tough, durable-feeling knit with a silicon grip pad to hold them in place. Best variety of colours. But also the highest rise, and thus wearable with the fewest loafer styles.

Fruit of the Loom Men's Extreme No Show [$1/pair] — You don't expect a lot for a dollar but these have a mid-height rise and were particularly comfortable due to their breathable mesh construction. At this rather disposable price, durability would be a bonus, so worth having a pack on standby.

Posted shortly after the announcement of a new smartphone device. Complete coincidence.
July 31, 2017  ·  style

Boglioli A/W 2017

If there's a formula for a successful and memorable seasonal menswear collection, it would go something like this:

  1. Solid, contemporary variants on beloved classics,
  2. Thematic introduction of an unexpected element, and
  3. At least one or two things that push the envelope, demonstrating a willingness to take creative risks.

Item 1 is always a given for the immaculately finished Boglioli. This time around item 2 is an expansion of greens and teals into the autumnal palette. While bottle green corduroy trousers have always been a classic fall staple, here the greens are expanded into related hues, in other materials and on other garments. The most jewel-like tones are incorporated into jacket and outerwear patterns, to beautiful effect.

Pursuant to item 3, the collection culminates with what appears to be a brown wool flannel tuxedo. No guts = no glory, right?

So Suitsupply has unleashed Suistudio, which aims to bring their winning value proposition formula to the women's market. The results are mixed. The suits generally look as great as you'd suspect, but they for some unknown reason they're all pant-suits—not a pencil skirt in sight. Head-scratching gestures to androgyny aside, this makes a shred of sense when you look at their skirt line: one is unremarkable, one is actually shorts, and the other three are godawful.

Faith in the brand based on prior accomplishments will warrant a return visit once they get it together.
June 15, 2017  ·  design

Briefcase Sale at Floto

A current flash sale at Floto finds a wide range of their Italian-made leather and canvas goods greatly reduced in price. The briefcase, messenger and field page is full of solid discounts, with the Venezia Slim (long a Team Unrefinery favourite) discounted from its already competitive $230 to below $150. Light weight and simple of design, its dimensions of 17"x12"x4" are suitable for both daily office use and thrifty day trips. Collect them all. OK, maybe not the red and blue variants. But totally the others.

As is expected with Floto, the provided shoulder strap is about as wide and comfortable as the wire on a cheese cutter. So if you plan to sling it, budget in another $63 for their Grande Strap.

Summer offers unique opportunities for the wearing of sweaters. Heat is only one parameter in the equation, along with activity level, prevailing wind, humidity, and the possibility of day-into-night dressing on holiday. A few types of sweater are particularly suited for the warm season:

Polo sweaters, whose ribbed cuffs and hem present a sleek counterpart to generally looser summerwear—most notably when rendered in a nicer cotton with a bit of sheen.

T-shirt sweaters, preferably in interesting slubby textures, with airy open knits and boat necks to combat solar gain.

Long-sleeved linen sweaters, the kind you pull on poolside or push up to your elbows, accepting that they'll be stretched out and worn by fall. Fast-fashion brands like Zara and H&M are great for this sort of thing.