Menswear, denim and accessories that reflect my personal style of mixing contemporary casual and tailored apparel...all with a bit of color.

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Holiday Gift Guide – Jim Ockert, Owner, Khaki’s of Carmel

 For over 20 years Khaki’s of Carmel continues to be one of the country’s leading specialty menswear retailers. Offering a tremendous variety of luxury products at different price points I took the opportunity to ask owner Jim Ockert for a few of his suggestions for Holiday gifts.

Made –To–Order Cashmere Sweaters–Handmade in Italy from heavy and luxurious 4-ply cashmere especially for Khaki’s of Carmel.  These are available in any fit, length and body style including cardigans, vests, zip front, button front, ¼ zip including any combination of over 40 colors as well as different exterior, interior, collar and trim colors. Shown are several button neck sweaters that are currently in stock. Call the store for pricing.

Donegal Wool Pants – “The ideal pant instead of flannel or khaki”, says Jim. “These are perfect with a sweater, leather jacket or vest. I love them with suede”. They are the J Lawrence brand, made in USA with full interior details. They come in a blue/grey and brown, lined, trim fit. Price $295 and are currently 20% off.

Cashmere Blend Socks- “With 100% cashmere you have to be careful in the wash so we prefer cashmere blends for easy care and durability. I especially like these cool colors and patterns. Why be boring when you can have fun?” Cashmere blend socks from Marcoliani and St. Croix  $29-$39.

Belts- “Kleinberg is the single best American resource for quality belts. Shown here is a burnished antique brown calf, black grain and a natural tan bridle leather all starting at around $150. We also offer their sharkskin, buffalo, snake, lizard, crocodile and other exotic skins in mutiple colors and textures.

Shirt, Tie, Pant – “Reflecting a more fashion forward fit and look we have our US made cotton flannel shirt ($225) cut in a shorter, trimmer fit with a higher arm hole paired with a 100% wool grey flannel, US made pant ($325) in a contemporary trim, but not skinny fit. Both are designed by us under the J Lawrence label and topped off with a tie by DiBi ($75).

Saphir – “This is the perfect product for our fine English and Italian shoes. There isn’t a better product made to maintain their look and color. And their suede cleaners are the very best.” Saphir products start at $18

Ties- “Our own ties are brand new. We located a source of fine fabric custom printed with our own colors and patterns. They are handmade for us in Italy and offer rich and distinctive colors.” $125

Khaki’s of Carmel is located on the corner of Junipero and Ocean Ave. Carmel, CA 93923. (831)-625-8106

-Gus Walbolt

Pelican Rock –Matthew Gerhardt is the owner of this Walnut Creek, California menswear store in the heart of the cities independent shopping district.  He is currently featuring a wide assortment of colorful plaid Gant shirts, chinos and knitwear, especially this very popular heavy cotton shawl cardigan. Former Ralph Lauren employees launched Grayers brand of knitwear, pants and shirts that have been very popular among Pelican Rock customers. Especially noteworthy is the contemporary version of this classic letterman’s jacket by San Francisco based leather company Golden Bear in an exclusive leather and grey wool fabric combination designed by Matt.

 Pelican Rock is located at 1378 North Main Street, Walnut Creek, Ca, 925 935-1833

Southwick Tweed & Borsalino for Fall - photo Cable Car Clothiers, San Francisco

Southwick Tweed & Borsalino for Fall - photo Cable Car Clothiers, San Francisco

Daines & Hathaway – Established in 1922, this British maker of fine leather goods is most well known for its MWP or Military Wet Pack.  Based upon early 20th century British Army issue, its roll-style and mix of pockets makes it ideal for organizing and travel. Photo at Cable Car Clothiers, San Francisco.

Daines & Hathaway – Established in 1922, this British maker of fine leather goods is most well known for its MWP or Military Wet Pack.  Based upon early 20th century British Army issue, its roll-style and mix of pockets makes it ideal for organizing and travel. Photo at Cable Car Clothiers, San Francisco.

Serious Scotch - Club WIngtip San Francisco

Serious Scotch - Club WIngtip San Francisco

Brunello Cucinelli coat, scarf Etro

Brunello Cucinelli coat, scarf Etro

Cashmere tie by E. Marinella for Drumohr

Cashmere tie by E. Marinella for Drumohr

City Sport Caps, Belgium- Makers of hats since 1898, City Sport Caps continue to be made in Ardooie, a small village in the neighborhood of Bruges. Available in the USA at Cable Car Clothiers, San Francisco. 

We Give Thanks For Bourbon 

We have a rather large annual Thanksgiving gathering of the clan that now includes the ritual of bringing a bottle of bourbon. There being a healthy bit of male competition amongst us you don’t just show up with anything. So, in my quest to be properly prepared I thought it best to consult with a professional. Yesterday, I paid a visit to master mixologist Brian MacGregor of Club Wingtip in San Francisco for his suggestions. 

Brian has industry connections that allow him to acquire extremely rare bottles of bourbon and scotch for the enjoyment of Wingtip club members (Good luck finding a 21 year old bottle of Elijah Craig at BevMo). So after showing me the club’s stash of virtually unobtainable bottles of limited release Parker’s, Michter’s, Stagg, etc., we focused on what I might acquire with some diligent research at better bottle shops. 

With Kentucky no longer having legal control over the name “bourbon” it was a pleasant surprise to find that two of the more impressive and available bourbons, Breakers and Colorado Straight Bourbon  are from California and Colorado. And for those of us who maintain loyalty to the Bluegrass state for some of our spirits there is Willit’s and Rowan’s Creek

Come Thursday, post Thanksgiving feast, we will breakout the bottles, crystal glassware and let the tasting begin. We will see which state and brand is crowned “best” . 

Shine at JA Razor Club, San Francisco

Shine at JA Razor Club, San Francisco

John Allan’s JA Razor Club - San Francisco

 Located off San Francisco’s Union Square and above the John Varvatos store is the  JA Razor Club. This hidden retreat offers a unique, masculine grooming experience to the Bay Area. 

 As I entered the hardwood and exposed brick loft setting the friendly receptionist welcomed me with a robe and introduced my stylist and manicurist. For just a moment it almost seemed like too much. Did I really need a shampoo, scalp massage conditioning treatment, haircut by a stylist, manicure, steaming hot towel facial cleanse and shoe shine?  Let’s just say that once you try them, they will become your new essentials.

 After the shampoo and conditioning my stylist, Alandria, offered me a scissor buzz cut. (The only other times I’ve been given that option were in Milan and Paris). During my haircut the manicurist asked, “Would you like a high gloss or matt? “ I was then offered a drink while I relaxed to the sound of classic jazz and rock. After my haircut I reclined with a soothing hot towel facial. I didn’t want to leave.

 Most club members come from using a local barbershop, Supercuts or their girlfriend’s hair salon. Many say, “I never thought I would ever get a manicure”, and most never knew this level of services even existed for men. But John Allan has been successful at converting guys to his grooming services in New York for over 20 years and has since expanded his clubs to include Washington DC, Chicago, Toronto and Beverly Hills. (Members get to use the services at any club in any city).

 In addition its professional staff and services, what impressed me about my visit to JA’s Razor Club was the integrity of the experience. This isn’t some concept heritage barbershop or a pretentious setting. It is geared towards guys who want to come in, relax in a cool setting, have a drink and leave looking and feeling their best. 

 The JA Razor Club is located inside John Varvatos on the second floor at 152 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94108, Mon-Sat 11:00AM-7:00Pm, To schedule an appointment telephone (415) 398-2707 or email  jarazorclub@johnallans.com  Gift certificates are available as well as a full line of John Allan grooming products.