A screenshot of Ps and Qs‘ plethora.
Boy, it got cold overnight, didn’t it? Suddenly we’re rummaging through basements and storage bins for sweaters, scarves, gloves, winter jackets, wool socks and even boots. And did we not wake up with snow falling on Philadelphia yesterday? Hey, winter—guess you’re here for real.
If you’re like me, and I bet lots of you are, you’re loathe to drag out that dingy old winter jacket you bought three years ago and have been trying to squeeze as many seasons out of as possible. Also, if you’re like me, you’re on the hunt for a good reason to go shopping and make a good investment.
So, for some gentlemen out there, I’d like to give you a few heads up on prices, styles, stores and recommendations on styles for the inevitable onslaught of freezing temperatures on their way. Shop these five spots for some style inspiration, at least:
1. City Sports, 1608 Walnut St., 215.985.5860. citysports.com
This isn’t where you’re gonna go for a peacoat, a bomber jacket or leather. But you will find some of the city’s finest selections of North Face, Patagonia, and Burton jackets. Their cold weather accessory game is also bananas (try to find anything with the “Smartwool” trademark), with a vast selection of gloves, hats, ear warmers and warm scarves.
Favorite: Those Burton Poacher jackets that come in heathered grey are sick ($169.95).
2. Ps & Qs, 820 South St., 215.592.0888. psandqs.com
Stumbled in there the other day, curious to see what one of our city’s best menswear boutiques pulled together for November, and wasn’t disappointed. In addition to a vast and cozy collection of charmingly color-combined Patagonia fleeces ($119), a truly stylish selection of knit winter hats and their always-tight New Balance game (and now they’ve got Tretorns!), their jacket curation is on point.
Favorite(s): That Shades of Grey Baseball jacket ($253), those deceptively warm Patagonia quilted down “sweaters” ($219) or those leather-shouldered Penfield Stapleton down jackets ($300).
3. H&M, 1530 Chestnut St., 855.466.7467. hm.com/us
These may not be jackets out of which you’ll get more than one season’s wear. And, in fact, if you wanted to have three mediocre jackets for the price of one ritzy piece, and you mix and match colors and textures, this really isn’t a bad option. A double-breasted peacoat’s only $99; a duffel coat with toggle buttons is $99; great parkas in versatile colors range from $50-100, and a no-one-will-know-it’s-from-H&M-unless-you-tell-them Lumber jacket in buffalo plaid’s only $99, too. Oh, and don’t mess with that Walnut Street spot; it’s not even in the same league as the bigger brother down the street and around the corner.
Favorite: Anything with the word “biker” in it, and you’re probably good, like the asymmetrical zipper ($79.95) or the fuller length trench, on sale for $99 from $199 right now.
4. Zara, 1715 Walnut St., 215.557.0911. zara.com/us
Listen, Zara’s better in SoHo or midtown Manhattan, but we’ll take what we can get from the international retailer while the gettin’s good—and one thing Zara does well for men is blazers and outerwear. They’re great for biker/moto jackets, and they’ve got a couple winter-weight ones worth trying on, but I snagged a knitted coat with a high-neck collar for $189 (in black) that I am extremely happy with this week. All of their leather, faux or legit, is priced pretty reasonably. Also, bonus tip: If you can, thick-enough blazers with a warm sweater underneath always looks classy.
Favorite: Didn’t work for me, but that navy wool coat with a detachable waistcoat ($299) is nicely done, with brown leather details that look real sophisticated.
5. Theory, 1616 Walnut St., 215.735.1034. theory.com
This one’s for the high-rollers or for those who just got a winter bonus and want to drop a crisp K on one garment. But if you’re going to do it, this has got to be the best place to do so. Perhaps not deep-winter appropriate, but they’ve got the most stunning play on a baseball jacket in the city, with their Volter LS Coat in Kinlough Wool Cashmere Blend ($795), a navy wool number with black leather sleeves.
Favorite: Really wish we could spring for that Yver Coat in Belgrade Cotton Blend ($895), a real warm keeper in black, with a removable puff layer in a deep blue.
Hypothetical scenario: Dude you’re on a first date with picks you up at your door; you walk over to a nearby restaurant and sit down at the table, and then you see his watch. It’s a metallic number, chunky and thick, with visible gears and ostentatious detailing on its face. Now, hold on: Let’s imagine this guy–he’s six feet tall, dressed well enough (button-down, well-fit denim, inoffensive shoes) and has obviously made a good enough impression to win a date with you. But he seems to be quite fond of his timepiece, stretching on occasion to make sure his watch is visible beyond his cuff and holding his hands together in a manner that puts his wrist on display.
“Was that your dad’s watch or something?” you inquire.
“No,” he guffaws, “I bought this. It’s a Hublot.”
“What’s that?” you ask.
“Oh, it’s a luxury brand. Haven’t you heard that Watch the Throne song, “Otis”?”
“No,” you confess.
What he doesn’t know is that you detest showy displays of income, wholesale buy-ins to maleness and co-opting pop star fashion for your own.
That wouldn’t happen with an Analog Watch Co. watch for a number of reasons. While watches made of wood aren’t completely unheard of (you can find them at Kembrel, on sale, while the Chestnut Street pop-up’s still open), Lorenzo Buffa is a Philadelphia designer and founder of AWC who’s launched and already crushed a Kickstarter goal to fund the production of soft, flexible wooden watches that are gender neutral and make a statement that’s not “I have money and taste.” In fact, a wooden watch might suggest the wearer’s a little more on the crunchy, urban hippie, eco-conscious and nature-loving tip.
On Oct. 11, Buffa launched a $10k-goaled Kickstarter push, and, at the time of this writing (10/21 @ noon), he and AWC have 333 backers with over $31,000 pledged and 20 days left in the campaign. Not bad at all. And, to his credit, Buffa’s a queer kid who’s propelled himself him into now-thriving watch designer status and a Kickstarter success story.
“If it wasn’t for navigating the challenges of being a marginalized individual, I don’t think I would be who or where I am today,” he told PW. “Those hard times only give me strength and compulsion to push myself more.” And push himself he did. For months he designed, prototyped, contacted and initiated relationships with manufacturers, studied other campaigns and prepared a marketing effort for his brand. “We spent months working on a strategy for launching on Kickstarter,” he says. “I gauged how well the project would fit in, and fortunately, it’s exceeded expectations.”
Looks like Buffa’s poised to be swimming in wristwear—taking orders, plus creating, marketing and shipping them—and he’s not mad. The U Arts Industrial Design alum’s background is pretty varied, but he sees a lot of potential in watches, much more so than just a way to tell time. “Watches today are much more about expressing one’s identity. They are symbols of status, ideals, class, etc.,” Buffa asserts. When questioned on whether or not he was ready to be the watch man, he seemed resolved: “I’m going to settle in and work on watches for now. This is just the beginning.”
The Carpenter Collection uses soft wood, leather and minimalistic design elements (no numbers, lines or figures – it’s Analog, get it?) to achieve a pretty sophisticated blend of aesthetic elements for 2013. Because he wanted to appeal to a wide audience—and, in all likelihood because he’s a talented queer—these watches are slim, chicly simplified and refined in their design. And there’s still time to get in on the Kickstarter project. There are only 10 left of the 200 spots to opt in at $85, but 97 of 100 spots are left to get yours for $95.
Kickstarter’s obviously no joke. There’s lots of build-up towards a campaign and lots of worry over how it’ll unfold if and when your campaign’s funded; Buffa gets the green light on Nov. 10th. Is he ready for the deluge? “Absolutely,” he says. “This has been over a year in the making. Months have been spent building relationships with all the parties involved [and] in bringing a product to production.” There’s magic in that Kickstarter, too, helping all kinds of creatives achieve things never believed possible.
Buffa put it perfectly: “There is an amazing tool at our disposal: the Internet and computer. You can do anything. Anything. It’s created a new era for makers, designers, and how small businesses grow in ways it never could have 20 years ago.”
BOOT & SADDLE
We’ll go further in depth with Sean Agnew in a couple weeks’ time, but for now, we’d just like to rejoice in the impending arrival of a brand new concert venue just south of Washington on South Broad—and it looks like it’s gonna be a honey. Getting the old gentifrication touch, Mr. Agnew’s spearheaded these kinds of moments a couple times already, turning the Spaghetti Warehouse into the phenomenally successful Union Transfer and converting the Dolphin into a totally respectable South Philly late-night haunt (not that the old Dolphin wasn’t). Well, it looks like it won’t be getting a name change, but it’s getting a serious facelift and getting loaded up with all of the bomb sound technology we’ve come to know and love at the glorious Spring Garden music house that can entertain up to 1,000 concert connoisseurs. Boot & Saddle won’t be nearly as large, but last week, we got this info in an email:
“We are opening a brand new venue in South Philadelphia … The Boot & Saddle! Shuttered in 1995, this iconic Philly landmark will be opening as a 150-capacity live music room and 60-seat restaurant. We’ll be celebrating our grand opening with Aimee Mann & Ted Leo on Monday, September 9th. Tickets are on-sale now!
Already on the calendar are bills featuring Palma Violets, Sir Sly, Grails, Crocodiles, Quasi (feat. Janet Weiss from Sleater Kinney/Wild Flag), Nightmares on Wax, Those Darlins, Black Prairie (4 members of The Decemberists) and tons more – all experienced in an intimate back concert room featuring the same d&b Audiotechnik sound system that has earned Union Transfer accolades as one of the city’s best sounding venues. This distinguishes Boot & Saddle as one of the only small-size rooms in the US to boast this critically acclaimed sound system, guaranteeing the best experience for you!”
Looking forward to the big open, for sure, but it looks like opening night is sold out. You can get a pretty good look at the already bumpin’ roster they’ve booked for September and October on their Ticketfly site.
JAY Z AND KANYE
Magically, pretty much within 24 hours of each other, two of the biggest names in hip-hop have announced Philly tour dates as part of giant national outings. They’re not together, and they’re not even all that close to each other: Kanye’s Yeezus tour will stop in on Nov. 16th at Wells Fargo, while Jay’s Magna Carter World Tour will hit Philly (again at Wells Fargo) on Jan. 29th. Tickets for their respective tours go on sale one day apart from each other: Jay’s first on the 12th, next Thursday, and Yeezy’s on Friday, the 13th. Yes, Jay did just tour with Justin Timberlake with their Legends of the Summer tour, but this is Kanye’s first solo tour in five years. You know what’s lame, though? Kendrick’s the big co-sign to follow Kanye around the world, but he won’t be present for the Philly date. The Philly.com story, though, does suggest that a surprise guest is TBA. Still exciting news, though, no doubt.
This weekend, we strolled into Ps & Qs, a new favorite shopping destination on Philadelphia’s South Street, and resisted dropping a couple hundred bucks down on swiping ALL of their spring and summer merch on sale. They’re making space for fall shipments and marking down t-shirts, tanks, hats and jackets with a fixture full of 50-percent off and another batch of 30-percent markdowns. You’re looking at purchases of $10-$20 on stuff that used to be $30-$50. Of course, it’s all about what’s left and what sizes have been snatched up, so it’s worth hustling in to get it while you can.
But the real star of the show is the brand new autumn jackets that are closest to the street, and one of them’s been running around my head since I laid my eyes on its beauty Saturday afternoon. K-Way’s a brand that’s been around for almost 50 years now. Born from Leon-Claude Duhamel’s brain in Paris 1965, it’s a simple achievement: waterproof, lightweight, packable and fashionable. As a cyclist and former Oregonian, waterproof’s gotta mean waterproof. Sometimes you’re all amped on your new windbreaker, and the first rain hits, and you think No bigs! I got this slick new pullover to fight that precipitation. Then you actually get rained on, and your shoulders start moistening, your forearms get wet and stick to the insides of the sleeves, and your hood isn’t cuttin’ the mustard. Well, the K-Way, the fine folks at Ps & Qs have assured us, is the real deal. They even did their own tests.
Now, the crown jewel in their lovely and colorful K-Way collection is the stunning collaboration between the French-born brand and the American-born kook and savant, Marc Jacobs. Pictured above, the heathered and treated mixed grey cotton zip-up is waterproof, features charming details and can be packed into itself for clipping around your waist or shoving into your weekend bag. Let’s not talk about price, however I will say that it’s the main reason I’m not wearing it right now. But while supplies last—and please, take this as a straight-up challenge— snatch those last two (there’s a small and a medium in stock) if you want to wear it this week or order it online if you can wait. In the meantime, rally up those pennies and head to a CoinStar to see if you’ve got room in the budget for one of the most beautifully versatile outerwear pieces I’ve laid my eyes on in a few minutes.
Gentleman Arthur Ties, $50-$75 each / Kembrel (1822 Chestnut St.)
Farmhaus “Gurt Blöc in Sapele Cutting/Serving Board,” $65 / Art Star (623 N. Second St.)
Philadelphia Phillies Pennant Race Windbreaker, $54 / Mitchell & Ness (1201 Chestnut St.)
Hortense B. Hewitt Glass Tankard with Personalization (Set of 2), $59.95 / Scarlett Alley (241 Race St.)
Trifold Luxe, $58 / Fabric Horse (1737 E. Passyunk Ave.)
Tokens & Icons Antique Golf Club Bottle Opener, $75 / Boyd’s Philadelphia (1818 Chestnut St.)
Sperry 2 Eye Neon Red Top Sider Shoes, $100 / South Moon Under (1731 Chestnut St.)
Jack Spade Duffle Bag, $295 / Art in the Age (116 N. Third St.)
Mainline Package (choice of tie, polo and tee), $123.75 / Duke & Winston (633 N. Second St.)
Triple C Designs iSolar Backup Battery in Bamboo, $34.95 / Scarlett Alley (241 Race St.)
Rocky Statue Tee (Black/Gold), $22 / Aphillyated.com
Camp Arrow Signs, $48 / Three Potato Four (376 Shurs Ln., Bldg. A)
Old Time Shave Set, $30 / Duross & Langel (117 S. 13th St.)
Robo Tea Infuser, $10 / SWAG Boutique (935 N. Second St.)
1canoe2 Letterpress Presidential Drinking Glasses (set of 4), $48 / Occasionette (1825 E. Passyunk Ave.)
Veteran’s Stadium Tee, $20 / Cheesesteak Tees (506 South St.)
Map Hip Flask, $26.99 / Hello World (257 S. 20th St.)
Circuit Board Photo Frame, $24 / Ten Thousand Villages (1122 Walnut St. & 8331 Germantown Ave.)
Photos c/o PW’s J.R. Blackwell.
Sometimes it’s initimdating for dudes to get something waxed. For ladies, too, I’m sure. And while males may not be brave enough to get anything waxed downtown (ya know, beneath the waist), let me assure you, gentlemen, there is no shame spending a little money to keep your body hair game tight. Back hair is rarely sexy; that’s a pretty confident statement. Now, hold up: There is nothing particularly wrong with a back sweater, and hopefully there are plenty of loving men and women out there who love running their hands through your back pelt, but maybe you want to win them over first before you let your winter coat grow out? Just an idea.
Eviama’s got to be one of the most pleasant, peaceful and easy spaces in Center City to get your body and body hair taken care of properly. With a move to a stunning second floor space at 109 S. 13th Street (between Sansom and Chestnut), they just stepped up their game and poised themselves to be the go-to for all kinds of females and males.
We caught up with Penny Ordway, its founder-owner and the wise and green proprietor of a jaw-dropping new space in Midtown Village via email:
PW: Congrats on the new space! Are you excited about it?
Ordway: Yes! I love the natural light and the garden and love the fact that I could create a healing space as I envisioned; it gives my staff and my clients new inspiration. I’m really excited!
How long were you at the old space (on 16th between Spruce and Locust), and how would you say the business has grown since it began? Do you see the business staying on 13th Street indefinitely?
We first opened 11 years ago. The menu has expanded and so has our pool of talent. More and more people discover us everyday, and now nearly everyone knows what we’re about when we say we’re a green, holistic, sustainable business. How wonderful that these ideas are more mainstream now! Frankly, I made a big financial commitment, so we want to be here a long time to benefit from the investment. So far, clients are telling us the move to this very happening neighborhood has added value. The contrast from bustling street to serene urban oasis is so inviting.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself? How long has Philadelphia been your home, and when did your first impulse for holistic well-being and green consciousness hit you?
Well, I haven’t eaten meat in 39 years or dairy in 19. I love jumping into a river, a pond or an ocean whenever I can. I’m grateful that everyday I, we, get to do transformative work and make people happy. I’ve been in Philadelphia for decades! I received a scholarship to Temple University, and the bribe stuck. As long as I can remember, nature has been a supportive force in my life, part of who I am. The wisdom so abundant in nature is part of us—a good thing to preserve and cultivate.
Has there been one service or specialty that Eviama’s seen as a staple?
Just one? Dr. Hauschka Skincare facials are a must. And too many massage services get top billing: Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy (your backs and legs will thank you), Mothers-In-Waiting Prenatal Massage Best of Philly), Houdini JINI (neck jaw shoulders unchained) and the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy (will balance the gut and improve fertility). We have always had a rockin’ biodynamic and organic offering. But there are new menu items being introduced in June, and they will meet our green standards. Stay tuned!
Can you say a few words about your staff? How do you find them and keep them?
Often a staff member will recommend someone they have trained with—this is a great big win-win. You know we all work on each other, and we want the best for ourselves, and we want all the clients to have a wonderful experience. To keep our ace crew, we’ve really made our schedule to fit the therapists’ life. I love my staff!