It might seem like an odd adjective to use to describe a footwear company, but when it comes to contemporary shoe brands, there’s no one more grounded than Lewiston, Maine’s own Rancourt and Company. Since the 1960’s three generations of the Rancourt family have been designing and producing footwear, and it is their pragmatic approach that makes them one of the most talked about names in shoe production to this day. When you visit Rancourt’s site you won’t find shoes with neon colored accents, or bizarre dress shoe/sneaker hybrids, instead what will find is a collection of gorgeous, American footwear that at once seems to harken back to New England’s hand-sewn traditions and embrace the novelty of modern menswear. Rancourt seems to adhere to an ideology that to us might feel remarkable only in its simplicity, yet is adopted by a surprisingly small number of brands: “Give people what they actually want.”
As the weather forecast finally starts to look up, I leave you this week with a photo I hope you’ve all seen already. Taken at Yale in 1965, this is in my opinion the only photo worth looking at for the next few months, thanks to the fellow second from left. White chinos, sock-less loafers, three-roll-two navy blazer, chalk white buttons, OCBD, club masters, hair like YSL at 21, unflappable attitude. This is what I’d consider to be the perfect spring look, so go forth and dress better than everyone else.
Oh, and here’s a close-up for good measure.
I think it’s about time that I make a confession: I as an “adult” have never actually owned a suit. And yes I do realize that preaching about the importance of dressing well, while not even owning a suit myself is more than a bit hypocritical. So, after years of not practicing what I preached, I finally decided to take the plunge this weekend and head up to Ralph Lauren’s Rhinelander Mansion to pick up a suit. While I plan to follow up the suit story with a full post in a couple weeks once I get it back from the tailors, I’d like to shift gears now, because aside from riding that “I just bought a suit” high, walking through the maze of sub-labels throughout the Mansion, I was continuously impressed by the shawl collar cardigans that I saw.
What’s a Sunday without football? What’s a hardwood court without a team to inhabit it? What’s America without it’s national pastime? These might seem like impossible scenarios, questions not worth asking with answers not worth contemplating, but they’re the lingering ideas that I was left to consider this weekend after reading Michael Mooney’s article for SB Nation on the death of Jai Alai in America. Until reading that article, what little knowledge I had of Jai Alai I’d picked up from two equally off kilter episodes of Mad Men and Jackass, which meant that I remembered two things – in the sixties the sport made a push for a rightful place in American athletics, and the game is fast enough to inflict serious (read: humorous) bodily harm.