Unrefinery

The Latest: Tuesday 04 August 2015

Can headphones be stylish?

The idea of headphones as fashion accessories sure looks like an ugly trend, exacerbated by the coupling of Apple Inc. and Beats By Dre to form a sort of vortex of disposable, cheap-looking suck. But as a practical matter, to the frequent user of public transit good closed-back headphones can be a necessary tool in protecting one's sanity—and like it or not they will be prominently placed in and around your head for extended periods of time in public places. They're a part of how you present yourself, for better or worse.

The key here is to choose the sorts of materials (premium) and colours (neutral) that follow the same aesthetics and quality indicators you'd choose for other accessories, wearable or otherwise. Shown: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 in Ivory: brown leather, brushed stainless, and heavy plastic bits that feel more like ceramic.
03.aug.2015 design style tech
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Tom Ford Spring/Summer 2016

Tom Ford may have spent the last 15 years living in Italy, and his work exhibits no shortage of Europen influences (to say nothing of the materials and manufacturing), but he clearly doesn't want us to forget he's American—and a Texan. As with every Ford collection his S/S 2016 book contains plenty of immaculately tailored suits and formalwear, but the most noteworthy and intriguing pieces this time around allude to American rock'n'roll and western silhouettes, updating classic leather jacket styles with shorter forms, luxurious suedes and at times sophisticated colours like deep rusty reds and neutral taupes and creams. At times reminiscent of the work of fellow American designer John Varvatos.
21.jul.2015 style
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L.L.Bean Signature West Branch Tote | Buy

Unrefinery is on the record as endorsing L.L.Bean's leather Town and Field Tote for its tremendous value, simple design and durability, but it's conceivable that one might want a larger and lighter bag with a shoulder strap. Enter the Signature West Branch Tote [$159], just back in stock. Large enough to serve as a weekend bag, and 1/2" of scrunching away from carry-on size, the tan-and-brown bag is comprised of a tough canvas-like polyester with leather trim.

It's worth mentioning that this bag has previously also appeared in a handsome navy-and-brown variant—shown lower right—and may yet again. On the other hand, it's not worth mentioning that they also make it in a camouflage print (presumably if you want nobody to find your hidden stash of Axe body spray or something).
13.jul.2015 design style
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Simons for America

Canadian brand Simons, long an essential stop when visiting Montréal, now ships to the US with a $10 flat fee. The main interest to American buyers will be the LE 31 house brand, offering solid affordable basics that reside somewhere between Zara and Uniqlo in both quality and fashion-forwardness (that's totally a word). Highlights include their knitwear staples — their lightweight $20 cotton/modal long-sleeve polo sweaters have a nice trim fit and have held up well after a couple of seaons — and their straight-fit stretch cotton trousers for $40. As with all cheap clothes, check the composition before ordering and skip anything with acrylic in it.
08.jul.2015 style
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Caruso, Giancarlo Giannini, and Oddball Pieces

Caruso has produced a promotional short video, The Good Italian, starring the supremely cool Giancarlo Giannini. Aliotsy of This Fits accurately describes it as "kinda corny, kinda charming". As a tool for promoting the brand's F/W 2015-16 collection, it's interesting that the most prominent piece featured would have to be characterized as sort of oddball: a somewhat loud tartan linen blazer with a mandarin collar and two lower back pockets. This is the kind of thing you'd never specifically go looking for, but once you find it, you realize it's more wearable than it sounds and it has the potential to become both a staple and a statement piece in your wardrobe. Maybe you then wonder how you lived without it. On the other hand, if you don't have $1,950 sitting around, maybe you'll find a way to continue doing so.
06.jul.2015 style
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Jagmeet Singh is a sartorial badass

It's Canada Day, and the Canadian contingent here at Unrefinery was already giddy over the prospect that the NDP's day may have finally come. Then we discovered Jagmeet Singh, representing the riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton. Jagmeet is a style inspiration not just because of his professional attire—which is impeccable, drawing from a variety of classic tailoring traditions juxtaposed with his often colourful turbans—but his Instagram account shows he has a rare ability to kill it in situations from extremely casual to black tie.

When one investigates his policies, it turns out that this man is an all-around cool dude in addition to being incredibly stylish. Basically, then, he's the polar opposite of Stephen Harper.

We know what you're thinking, and for the record: if you're a Sikh, it's not a hipster moustache. It's just a moustache.
01.jul.2015 culture style
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The Pittiest Uomo at Pitti Uomo, 2015 | Fail

Congratulations to guy-on-the-left for almost making guy-on-the-right not look like a clown. We cropped them out for pity's sake, but points deducted because his purse doesn't match his double monkstraps (with one strap unbuckled, naturally).
29.jun.2015 style
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Two Things About Pitti Uomo That Don't Suck

1. Sarah Candee of Isaia.
2. Sarah Ann Murray of The Rake.

Everyone at Pitti is apparently required to wear garish colours in over-the-top patterns and be photographed talking on their cell phone. Somehow the results are a lot more pleasant with these two. (Not even the stripperishly-named Sarah Candee can redeem double monks, though.)
22.jun.2015 culture style
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60 Years of the Citroen DS

A nice feature on Al Jazeera celebrates the 60-year anniversary of the amazing Citroën DS. Achingly beautiful in a futuristic way that held up over time to become Jetsons-esque retro-futuristic, the car was also packed with technological innovations. Its hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension was unique to Citroën, and the use of hydraulics extended to the clutch and transmission. Rear turn signals were mounted up at the roofline for better visibility. By 1967 the car had gained steerable headlights. The DS also proved to be a remarkably versatile platform; you could cruise in the convertible version, make deliveries in the truck-like wagon, or win the Rallye Monte Carlo in the sedan. As a confluence of exquisite design, technology and capability, the DS remains unique. We may never see its like again.
08.jun.2015 design tech
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Nautical Stripe Buyer's Guide 2015

Some inexpensive staples are candidates for iterative buying, due to the nature of the materials and the environments in which they are worn, and the navy-and-white nautical striped pullover is one of them. Top picks for this year, both trad and unconventional:

Uniqlo Supima Short Sleeve T-Shirt [$20] — Frankly, the best example of the genre we've ever seen; the reinforced neck means it sits well under a blazer and the stripe colour and width are ideal.

Massimo Dutti Navy Stripe Sweater [$90] — A really interesting remix of the theme in a highly textured casual sweater.

Zara Striped Linen T-Shirt [$26] — Loosely fitting, almost a boatneck, not ideal for layering but a great pairing with shorts or to throw on poolside.

Uniqlo Washed Long Sleeve T-Shirt [$15] — A slightly warmer, heavier option. Runs a bit small so size up.
04.jun.2015 style
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