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Those of you who know me well (or maybe even not so well) know that I am a big fan of the James Bond 007 film series.  I have been watching Bond films since sometime in the 80’s when my dad and I were flipping channels, and landed on Octopussy.  Since then I have watched all films – some many times over – I’ve bought the merchandise, drank the drinks, and have even attempted Commander Bond’s style here and there.

James Bond has always had high, yet classic style, and from what we’ve seen so far for Skyfall (November 9th, US) lives up to the gold standard.  This week I present a series of kits based on Daniel Craig’s Skyfall wardrobe ranging from his suits, to the razor sharp tuxedo, and even a more casual option perfect for scorpion drinking games.  I look to my favorite outpost, J.Crew for most options, though you’ll notice a little something extra thrown in here and there as necessary.

In the image above (top) we see Bond on a motorcycle whipping through the streets of Istanbul in pursuit of…somebody.  He’s wearing a classic, medium grey suit, and a light tie, white shirt, and a pocket square.  We don’t see his footwear, but one can only imagine it’s something stylish, yet practical (for running, etc).  We can also see a glimpse of his watch which is undoubtedly an Omega, but for the sake of creativity I chose an option that he may wear had Omega not been an endorser of the film (no worries, the real one will show up later this week.)

Clockwise from top left:

Ludlow Suit in Grey Worsted Wool | Jacket, $425 Pants, $225

Mougin & Piquard™ chronograph watch in black | $695

Stitched-edge belt | $59.50

Thomas Mason® for J.Crew spread-collar dress shirt | $125

Alden® for J.Crew cap toe cordovan boots | $645

Bird’s-eye wool tie | $69.50

Walther PPK | $629 – $859, Smith & Wesson

These here internets are chock-full of style inspirations.  One look that has caught my attention as of late is the travel, or utility jacket.  There are a number of varieties floating around (1) featuring options from Woolrich (4) – sold at J.Crew & Bonobos – to Uniqlo (3), Brooks Brothers (2), and Spiewak (5) also sold at BonobosSuit Supply even has their own version which is pretty nice (6).

With all the traveling I do, this style and color jacket appealed to me in more ways than one.  It looked substantial, yet compact, lots of pockets, but not overloaded with adornments, lightweight, yet water-resistant, and most of them were available in the color that looks best on me, navy blue.  It could also be easily packed without the fear of wrinkling, or taking up too much space, and would even make a decent makeshift pillow on a long flight.

I mulled over a number of these options for the last few weeks before finally deciding on the Spiewak option.  I came to my decision based mostly on price.  Bonobos was offering the jacket for $120, and with a $25 discount it clocked in at under $100.  The Uniqlo version is priced similarly (actually less), but is not available in navy.  The other three range from $299 to $399.  For me it was at least worth trying.

I first ordered a Medium.  I have a similarly styled jacket from J.Crew that is Medium, and it (now) fits fine.  Turns out this jacket is cut WAY smaller.  In fact, I ended up sending it back in exchange for a Large which is still slightly smaller than the J.Crew medium.  But, as you can see it does fit.  It’s comfortable.  It’s lightweight.  My wife likes it on me.  Win!

The only real drawbacks of the jacket are there are no interior pockets, and the sleeves are a little long.  Not the end of the world.  I wore the jacket last week on a business trip to the Boston area.  Driving up I wore a suit, but the next day was more laid back.  The sun was warm, but the air was cool enough to warrant wearing a jacket.  As I drove down I95 back towards New York I realized I really enjoy my job; I enjoy traveling for my job, and now I have this awesome jacket to take me from place to place.

Photos
1. Most ExeRent bRog | Jacket by Muji
2. Driving Jacket | Brooks Brothers | $298
3. Field Blouson | Uniqlo | $59.90
4. Woolrich John Rich & Bros.™ Travel Jacket | J.Crew | $395
5. Spiewak Navy Ash Field Coat | Bonobos | $120
6. Nylon Field Coat | Suit Supply | $299

In 2010, Kristina and I took a trip to Paris.  It was my first time, and I absolutely fell in love with the city.  Since we left I’ve been itching to return.  It could happen next year, but I am not holding my breath.

I packed fairly light for that trip.  At this point, knowing what I know now I may have done it a little differently.  Perhaps I would have worn a different coat, or brought different shoes.  I definitely would have carried a messenger bag of some sort with a camera, notebook, and some water.  I was comfortable, but it could have been better.

Lately I’ve been having a little fun creating “kits” of stuff I would put together in different situations, etc.  Today, I decided to put together two kits for Paris – one for day, and one for night using only items from the J.Crew partnership brands; known on their website as In Good Company.  I did the best I could with what they offer.  I think I would wear most of what is there.  There’s one shirt I’d probably not wear, but it is French, so I kind of had to.  Let me know what you think.

Paris by Day

Paris is actually a lot more casual than people think.  But to Parisians, casual does not mean sloppy.  Wearing these items would help you stay comfortable and casual, while not completely looking like a tourist.

Jacket Woolrich John Rich & Bros.™ travel jacket $395
Jeans – Levi’s® Vintage Clothing 501xx® 1966 jean in rough rinse $215
Shirt – Saint James® unisex Meridien II nautical tee $85
Sneakers – Adidas Spezial Sneakers $70
Socks – Corgi™ stripe socks $32
Sunglasses – Persol® 0649 sunglasses $310
Watch – Timex® Andros watch $175
Bag – Belstaff® Colonial shoulder bag 556 $385

Paris By Night

While you can certainly get away with being more casual by day, at night you should dress it up, at least a little bit.  For some restaurants, I would certainly recommend a suit.  But for the more modest bistros and brasseries, a dark pair of jeans, nice shoes, and a pressed shirt should suffice.  Oh, and expect rain…

Jacket –  Mackintosh® Duncan coat in birch $800
Jeans – Lee® for J.Crew 101 B regular straight selvedge jean in rinse wash $220
Shirt – Thomas Mason® fabric button-down dress shirt in peri $135 (tie optional)
Shoes – Alden® shell cordovan chukka boots $650
Socks – Pantherella® merino dress socks $27
Watch – Mougin & Piquard™ for J.Crew Grande Seconde watch in cream $425

All In Good Company items available at select J.Crew stores, and at jcrew.com

You may have noticed that I have a bit of the travel bug this week.  Kristina and I have been talking about planning a trip for this spring, and possibly again in the fall.  We both enjoy traveling.  She prefers to go places with historical value, while I tend to enjoy relaxing on a beach, and/or indulging in local food and beverage.  But we do agree on many vacation ideas.  One of the best trips we took together was to Paris in 2010.  I’d never been before; she’s been there a few times.  I had a great tour guide, and indulged plenty.

This year we are thinking of taking a long weekend on a Caribbean island somewhere around the middle of spring.  Then later in the year we were considering either South America, somewhere in Europe, or perhaps Israel.  Part of preparing for a trip is having the right clothes, camera, guide books (if needed), and of course, the right luggage.

Last year I picked up the carry-on Tumi T-Tech Data wheeled bag at their outlet in Kittery, ME.  I have used it on nearly every trip I’ve taken since for business, and for pleasure.  Last year, before heading to Europe I picked up the duffel for a little extra packing room.  And you know what?  I’m glad I did!

  

I was able to pack my Filson briefcase into the duffel while packing my computer into the front computer sleeve of the rolling bag.  I also threw my toiletries, Kindle, ipod, a pair of shoes, camera, and extra socks into the duffel for easy, under-the-seat access while I stowed the roller overhead.  I still had to wait at baggage claim while my colleagues collected their bags, but I didn’t have to collect anything, myself.  And as the duffel opens in the back to slip over the arm of the roller, wheeling it all around was a breeze.

Never underestimate the power of good luggage.  Think of it as an investment – like your bed, or a sofa, or a good suit.

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