While taking a bike ride through Center City, trying to escape my college duties for an hour or two, I passed a scene of nostalgia. Giggling over gossip, boys trying to impress the girls, and everything else you remember from high school. When all this was blended with their uniforms, I had to hop off of my bike to snag a photo. I love the feel that some of the young ladies gave to their uniform. My favorite is definitely in the center, a lady that isn't afraid to wear a rep tie (a staple in a man's arsenal) wins points in my book.
As I rounded the corner with my bike, I noticed I had come across a gorgeous church. In Philadelphia, they enjoy keeping the historical integrity of their architecture. However, when I started to really examine this building, there was a store sign welcoming me in. Curious enough, I stumbled into a true gem.
We crave to see the words "Made in America" on anything we purchase. It ties us back to a time where that was the only thing one would see on a tag. Mettlers American Mercantile converts this 1881 church into a retail space that brings you back to the strong American ties you want to feel constantly. From the scent, to Frank Sinatra playing in the background... you are surrounded by unabashedly American design.
It's a head to toe shop when it comes to design. I don't believe they missed a single detail. In every corner I saw something that caught my eye. Vintage American flags drape the rooms, rustic trophies hold tartan scarves, and large arch ways lead into sweeping rooms filled with the clothing that holds onto classic American design.
Standing boldly on 22nd and Chestnut, Mettlers stands as one of the best shops in Philadelphia. From the strong curation of clothing that style each mannequin, to the sailboat and every other piece of art that allows this store to come alive. Don't expect to walk through this store and pick up a shirt and walk out. You would be doing yourself a disservice... take your time. Let your eyes wander to take in the fullness the shop has to offer, and enjoy. You'll probably run into me with my arms full of sartorial goodness.
Mettlers American Mercantile | 2129 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
September is a weird month to dress for. Yesterday the high was 72, today it was around 85... we have to stay versatile. Men adhere to a pretty standard uniform when it comes to dressing, but it doesn't mean we can't push and pull it. It is with those tugs that personal style is created. With the craziness of the weather, a blazer in the morning feels like heaven compared to the hell it might feel like at 3pm. A way to avoid this is rocking a t-shirt underneath... that's right, I said a t-shirt. However, to keep the preppy aesthetic you have to go about the process in a delicate way. Try a couple of shirts and make sure the feel is right; I really like this one I snagged last weekend. Also, the key to keeping this away from the slumpy feel is to make sure your blazer has all the same detailing that you would pair it with any other formal outfit.
The Get Up:
Blazer: Zara Man
T-Shirt: Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Chinos: Banana Republic
Canvas Sneakers: Tretorns
Flower Lapel: Designed by myself
Glasses: Oliver Peoples
One must always refine their craft. Casting it into the fire, beating it, and sharpening their tool. There are times in the day that are best for taking someone's photograph. However, that routine gets boring. Life isn't stuck with the sun in one position, but I have never shot this close to the sun being completely down. Seeing my good friend, I decided to give it a go... worse comes to worse, I don't use the photo and we can laugh at how bad it looks. Thankfully, I caught her lovely in this moment we shared. I have always been fond of her style, but seeing the soft glow of the light post dance over her made for a beautiful moment.
One of my biggest pet-peeves after seeing a nice outfit is looking down and seeing flip-flops. I can understand why... they are comfortable; and when you are scurrying between classes or walking around the city it becomes a convenience factor. However, when you already put effort in the rest of your outfit why destroy it with one of the key displays of personal style. Here we see the simple upgrade. A nice pair of sandals gives you the comfort you desire and something I want to photograph. Think about it the next time you step out. Also, if you are a gent, you shouldn't be wearing sandals/flip flops in general... I mean seriously c'mon.
He raises his arm as the warm sun breaks through the cloud and grazes his face. His toes stretch out and sink in, allowing the cool sand to send a tingle up the spine. But the time passes... the air cools and the sea has lost her refreshment and exchanges it for a bitter bite. These are the last days of summer, foolish whims are past, and our ivy covered campus beckons us back to her gothic halls.